Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami conducted a review of the relief and rescue efforts on Tuesday at his residence as operations continue to evacuate 40 workers trapped in the collapsed Silkyara tunnel on the Uttarkashi-Yamunotri road. The under-construction tunnel, which caved in on November 12, has seen ongoing rescue operations for the past three days.
“I am closely monitoring the situation. I visited the spot, and I also spoke to the family members of the people who were trapped inside. Food, water, and oxygen are being supplied to the people who are trapped inside. PM Modi is also closely monitoring the situation,” Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami informed ANI.
Trucks carrying 900-mm-diameter pipes arrived at Silkyara after midnight, as officials constructed a platform for an auger machine to dig horizontally and install large-diameter MS pipes among the rubble. The goal is to cut a path through the metal pipes for the imprisoned workers.
Rescue personnel are attempting to clear around 35 metres of rubble in order to reach the stranded workers. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, and Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw have all enquired about the issue with the Chief Minister of Uttarakhand.
The Silkyara Tunnel, with a length of 4531 metres and a construction cost of Rs 853.79 crore, suffered a breach of 21 metres, triggering the collapse. The National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (NHIDCL) reported ongoing rescue efforts, with a detailed timeline indicating the collapse occurred during re-profiling work.
Efforts are being made to ensure the safety and evacuation of the stranded personnel, with state and federal officials keeping a close eye on the situation. The situation remains fluid as rescue personnel seek to clear rubble and create a safe path for people on the inside.