First visuals of the workers trapped inside the under-construction Silkyara tunnel surfaced on Tuesday amid the ongoing rescue operations at the site of collapse.
The Uttarakhand Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) took to its X handle and shared the visuals of the workers, which was recorded by a endoscopic camera and said that they are safe inside the tunnel. The post said, “You can also see live pictures of workers trapped in Silkyara Tunnel. Endoscope camera sent into the tunnel, all workers safe inside the tunnel.”
आप भी देखें सिलक्यारा टनल में फंसे श्रमिको की लाइव तस्वीरें। टनल में भेजा गया एंडोस्पकॉप कैमरा टनल के अंदर सभी श्रमिक सुरक्षित। pic.twitter.com/p8uSMJd99o— CM Office Uttarakhand (@ukcmo) November 21, 2023
The workers were seen wearing their white and yellow helmets and talking to each other.
Earlier, National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (NHIDLC) Director Anshu Manish Khalkho said that cameras would be inserted through the pipeline to check how the workers were doing.
Meanwhile, the vertical drilling machine from the upper part of the hill from above the tunnel, reached the tunnel site early on Tuesday. The officials, in a major breakthrough yesterday, had successfully drilled in a 57-metre long and 6-inch wide lifeline pipe. This pipe will be used to send larger quantities of solid food and water to the trapped workers.
Uttarakhand HC Seeks Response From Govt, Central Agencies
The Uttarakhand High Court on Monday sought responses from the State government and the central agencies on the ongoing rescue operations within 48 hours. The court has also asked the authorities to inform about the measures taken to rescue the 41 workers trapped inside the partially collapsed tunnel.
This comes after a public interest litigation (PIL) related to the rescue operation was filed by a Dehradun-based NGO Samadhan.
A division bench comprising acting Chief Justice Manoj Kumari Tiwari and Justice Pankaj Purohit asked the state government to submit its reply to the court within 48 hours and also issued notices to the disaster management secretary, public works department, central government, and National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation. The court has scheduled the next hearing for November 22.
PM Modi Takes Stock of Rescue Ops
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday spoke to Uttarakhand chief minister Pushkar Singh Dhami and took stock of the ongoing rescue operations at the partially collapsed tunnel in Uttarkashi.
The prime minister was extensively briefed by CM Dhami and told him that all the workers were safe with oxygen, nutritious food and constant supply of water.
Workers In Hope Of a Quick Rescue, Say They Are In a ‘Bad Condition’
Officials on Monday spoke to the trapped workers through a narrow pipe, where the workers pleaded them for a quick rescue and expressed their agony.
According to a Times of India report, a representative of the Uttar Pradesh government spoke to the workers. Eight of 41 persons trapped are from UP.
On one hand the representative consoled them saying that they will be rescued soon and asked them to stay strong. And on the other, one of the workers talking to him said that although they are getting good, all of them are in “bad condition”. “What is the progress of the rescue work? Please take us out quickly. It is getting harder and harder with each passing day,” the worker was quoted as saying.
Former advisor to the prime minister and now OSD in the Uttarakhand government, Bhaskar Khulbe on Sunday had said that concerted efforts would produce good results in four to five days.
(With PTI inputs)