News Brief

Uttarakhand Tunnel Collapse: Here's The Five-Option Action Plan Finalised By Centre To Rescue The Trapped Workers

Swarajya Staff

Nov 20, 2023, 08:54 AM | Updated 08:54 AM IST

The under-construction tunnel on Yamunotri route where 40 workers are trapped.
The under-construction tunnel on Yamunotri route where 40 workers are trapped.

After being trapped inside a collapsed tunnel in Uttarakhand for more than a week, 41 workers are still awaiting rescue.

The Centre has now announced that it has finalised a five-option action plan to save them.

Transport and Highways Secretary, Anurag Jain, announced that five different agencies will collaborate on implementing alternative solutions, which will involve drilling operations from three different directions. Jain emphasized that the government is committed to taking comprehensive measures to protect precious lives.

A high-level meeting was held to make the decision, during which experts' advice was considered and various options were examined.

Five options were decided and assigned to five different agencies for implementation. These agencies include Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), Sutluj Jal Vidyut Nigam (SJVNL), Rail Vikas Nigam Limited (RVNL), National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (NHIDCL), and Tehri Hydro Development Corporation Limited (THDCL). Each agency has been given specific responsibilities.

The rescue operation has been supported by the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) and the construction wing of the Indian Army, according to Jain.

Detailed Overview of the Five Rescue Strategies

1. SJVNL is conducting vertical drilling from the top of the tunnel in order to rescue the labourers who are trapped.

2. RVNL has started construction on a new vertical pipeline to provide essential items. This project began after the Border Roads Organisation completed the approach road in just one day.

3. ONGC is utilising its deep drilling expertise to initiate vertical drilling from the Barkot end.

4. NHIDCL will proceed with drilling from the Silkyara end once safety arrangements have been put in place. The Army has constructed a box culvert to aid in this process, and a canopy framework is being created to ensure the safety of the workers.

5. THDC has already mobilised heavy machinery for micro tunnelling from Barkot.

Meanwhile, as the rescue teams work tirelessly for a breakthrough, the workers are being supplied with food, water, and oxygen to ensure their well-being.

41 workers have been trapped since last Sunday due to a tunnel collapse. All workers are safe and are receiving food and water through steel pipes that have been inserted into the opening.

The under-construction tunnel is part of the ambitious Char Dham project, a national infrastructure initiative to enhance connectivity to the Hindu pilgrimage sites of Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri, and Yamunotri.

Get Swarajya in your inbox.