Since November 12, after a section of the tunnel collapsed, excavators have been removing dirt, concrete, and debris from the under-construction tunnel in Uttarakhand’s thenorthern Himalayan state.
However, falling debris and repeated breakdowns of the crucial heavy drilling machines have slowed down rescue efforts, forcing the air force to twice airlift new equipment.
A steel pipe that was narrow enough for the increasingly desperate men to fit through had been attempted to be horizontally driven through the debris by engineers.
However, on Friday, drilling on that route was stopped due to a “panicsituation,” according to officials.
Teams were now getting ready to dig the new shaft from above, necessitating the construction of a brand-new track for the required heavy equipment.
In Uttarakhand, where significant portions of the state are prone to landslides, experts have issued warnings about the effects of extensive construction.
Pushkar Singh Dhami, the chief minister of Uttarakhand, insisted that the “workers trapped in the tunnel are safe” and stated that “every effort is being made.”
He claimed to have discussed the crisis with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
” Get them out!”
Abhishek Ruhela, a prominent local civil servant, claimed that three-quarters of the new drilling site’s track had been constructed.
The 1, 200-meter-long road that will be used for drilling over the tunnel has been finished, according to Ruhela, at a height of up to 900 meters (2, 950 feet ).
Food, water, oxygen, and medicine have also been delivered to the trapped workers via a narrow pipe, with workers planning to expand that to allow for the delivery of larger food packets. Rescuers have been radio-communicating with them.
The International Tunneling and Underground Space Association’s president, Arnold Dix, is one of the foreign experts who have been enlisted.
At the location, Dix said to reporters on Monday,” We’re going to find a solution and get them out.”
” Here, a lot of work is being done. It’s crucial that both the men who are ( doing ) the rescuing and those who have been saved are secure.
At the tunnel’s entrance, locals built a Hindu temple to the local deity Boukhnag, claiming that the original temple had been relocated while being built.
Some villagers attributed the initial temple’s destruction to the tunnel collapse.
The tunnel is a component of Modi’s infrastructure initiative, which aims to shorten travel times between some of the most well-known Hindu sites in the nation and enhance access to strategic regions bordering China.