Repairs have been carried out on the 25-tonne platform supporting the auger machine utilised for drilling through debris in the Silkyara tunnel, Uttarakhand. Consequently, senior officials announced that efforts to rescue the 41 trapped workers are expected to resume soon.
The platform, housing the equipment, developed cracks during Thursday's rescue operation, necessitating a pause in the horizontal drilling through the debris. Today marks the 13th day since the commencement of the rescue operation.
After manually removing the deformed pipe in small sections from the entry point, rescue workers will proceed with the introduction of augers. Following this, two to three additional pipes will be welded and advanced using a jack drill and pushing method.
The entire process is anticipated to take approximately 4 to 5 hours, with the goal of completing the rescue operation by evening, according to Colonel Deepak Patil, the in-charge of the rescue operation, quoted by the Indian Express.
He added that each phase of pipe welding requires approximately 1.5 to 2 hours. Meanwhile, a temporary camp office has been set up at Matali for Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami to monitor the ongoing operation in real-time.
CM Dhami has been closely following the ongoing efforts to safely extract the laborers who became trapped when a portion of the tunnel on the Uttarkashi-Yamnotri road collapsed on 12 November.
Nishtha Anushree is Senior Sub-editor at Swarajya. She tweets at @nishthaanushree.
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