Vertical Drilling Commences to Address Uttarkashi Tunnel Collapse

Vertical Drilling Commences to Address Uttarkashi Tunnel Collapse

Uttarkashi - The rescue mission at the Silkyara tunnel marked its 15th day on Sunday (November 26), with 41 laborers still trapped since a section of the under-construction tunnel collapsed in Uttarkashi, Uttarakhand.

Operations came to a halt for most of Friday, but on Saturday, international tunnelling expert Arnold Dix revealed that the auger machine, crucial to the efforts, was irreparably damaged. This setback prompted officials to explore alternative strategies. Two options are currently under consideration: manually drilling through the remaining 10-12 meter debris or implementing vertical drilling from above, extending approximately 86 meters down.

The auger machine, tasked with drilling through the collapsed tunnel's rubble, encountered a significant challenge on Saturday as its blades became entangled in the debris. This complication forced officials to contemplate a shift to alternative methods, potentially prolonging the rescue mission by several more weeks. The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) acknowledged on Saturday that the horizontal drilling process using the auger machine faced repeated obstacles, prompting a shift towards vertical drilling.

Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami, actively monitoring the situation, shared that Prime Minister Narendra Modi receives daily updates on the ongoing operation. Additionally, a landline facility has been established at the tunnel to facilitate communication between the trapped workers and their families, providing a vital connection during this challenging period.

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