Silkyara (Uttarkashi): All 41 labourers who were trapped in the under-construction tunnel from Silkyara to Barkot due to debris falling in a 60-meter stretch on the Silkyara side since November 12, 2023, were successfully rescued today. All the workers trapped in the tunnel have been admitted to the hospital. The Uttarakhand government will bear the expenses of treatment in the hospital. In addition to this, the State government is also arranging food and accommodation for families and workers.
Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami said that the government will provide financial assistance of Rs one lakh to all the workers who were rescued after they were trapped in the Silkyara tunnel. The authorities have been instructed for this. Also, the rescued labourers will be treated and full arrangements will be made for them until they go home.
Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari termed it as one of the most significant rescue operations in recent years. He said he was “completely relieved and happy” that various departments and agencies complemented each other despite facing numerous challenges. “Tireless and sincere efforts by everyone, coupled with prayers from all, have made this operation possible,” he added.
Gadkari said the dedicated endeavours of the rescue teams have yielded favourable results. He expressed gratitude to each agency and individual involved in this rescue operation. He also appreciated the international rescue experts, administrative officers, and the Uttarakhand government for their “swift and effective” response.
The Minister said Prime Minister Narendra Modi had constantly monitored the entire operation and provided guidance and support whenever required.
Earlier today, the two-kilometre section of the tunnel, with completed concrete work ensuring the safety of the workers, was the focus of the rescue efforts, as various government agencies worked tirelessly on each assigned specific task to ensure the safe evacuation of the workers. National and International experts were present at the site to advise on the rescue operation. The government maintained constant communication to boost the morale of those trapped. Freshly cooked food and fresh fruits along with medicines and other essentials were inserted inside the tunnel at regular intervals using the 2nd lifeline (150 mm diameter) service.
It may be mentioned that after the tunnel collapse on November 12, initially opting for a 900 mm pipe through the debris, safety concerns led to the exploration of multiple rescue options simultaneously. The area of entrapment, measuring 8.5 meters in height and 2 kilometres in length, was the built-up portion of the tunnel, offering safety to the labourers with available electricity and water supply.
– global bihari bureau