Rescue Operations for Workers Trapped in the Collapse of the Uttarkashi Tunnel Increase

Rescue teams are using a multi-pronged strategy in a race against time to free 41 workmen who have been stuck in Uttarakhand’s Silkyara tunnel for more than 200 hours. The fall, which was caused by the Char Dham Highway project, has prompted an intricate rescue effort.

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Options In Progress:

Horizontal Drilling: Following a 22-meter delay owing to rocks, NHIDCL hopes to resume drilling from Silkyara’s mouth.

Sideways Drilling: To build a 1.2 m wide by 170 m long tunnel, RVNL microdrills 280 meters to the left of the entrance.

Vertical Drilling from Above: With the assistance of equipment from Gujarat and Odisha, SJVN starts drilling a 320-meter-deep, 1.2-meter-wide hole from above.

Second Vertical Tunnel from Top: ONGC uses equipment from Mumbai, Ghaziabad, and the United States to excavate a 325-meter-deep tunnel from the Barkot side.

Horizontal Rescue Tunnel: From the Barkot end, Tehri Hydro Development Corp. intends to build a 483-meter-long, narrower tunnel.

Challenges Faced:

Heterogeneous Soil: Different soil types make tasks more difficult, with flexible and inflexible areas presenting difficulties.

Rock Formations: Drill damage and equipment disruptions are brought on by hard rocks, which hinder rescue operations.

Terrain: Because of the high altitude, it is difficult to reach and requires more time to repair parts.

Parts Availability: International teams are coming to help, and specialized equipment and knowledge are crucial.

Nitin Gadkari’s Declaration:

The non-uniform soil layers in the Himalayan area complicate operations, according to the Minister of Road Transport and Highways. Although horizontal drilling is the fastest way, it was temporarily stopped for safety when hard rocks were encountered.

International Assistance:

Robots from DRDO are helping with ground movement, while teams with expertise in cave rescues from Norway and Thailand are lending a hand.

Regulatory Concerns:

The 1,000-kilometer Char Dham Highway project has environmental issues. Construction projects have the potential to worsen ecological weaknesses, which might result in flash floods and landslides.

In summary:

Six parallel possibilities are still being pursued, and international cooperation is essential to the accomplishment of this difficult rescue mission.

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