The rescue operations are still underway. (Photo: X/@ANINewsUP)
Uttarkashi: As the rescue operations to save the 41 workers trapped in an under-construction tunnel after it collapsed on November 12 in Uttarakhand's Uttarkashi enters day 9, the authorities have decided to adopt a 5-point action plan which involves drilling operations from three different sides.
As per the plans, a vertical drilling operation will take place from the top of the hill under which the workers have been trapped for over a week. Efforts involving horizontal drilling through the debris will continue at the Silkyara side, and another operation drilling a small tunnel from the Barkot side is expected to begin, The Indian Express said in a report.
Five different agencies, including the 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) have been tasked to carry out the five separate aspects of the rescue plans, IE said citing details provided by the government.
An access road has been created by the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) towards the platform where vertical drilling is set to be conducted. As part of the five-point action plan, RVNL has started operating on a six-inch-wide vertical pipeline from the platform towards the place where the construction workers are stranded. The pipe will function as another way the aid will be supplied to them. The vertical pipeline, which is being built currently, will be in addition to the two horizontal pipelines in function.
Under the second part of the plan, SJVNL will construct a vertical tunnel from the top of the hill to save the trapped workers. The third part of the plan includes horizontal drilling of over 400 metres to reach the trapped workers by constructing a "micro" tunnel from the Barkot side, as per the report.
As part of the fourth phase of the plan, the existing tunnel would be strengthened and safety protocols would be worked upon. Under the fifth part of the plan, NHIDCL will continue to operate drilling from the Silkyara side to rescue the trapped workers.
The rescue operations are still underway and the authorities have assured that the workers are being given food, water and oxygen as the evacuation process entered day 9 on Monday.