Urgent Uttarakhand Tunnel Rescue : Rapid Vertical Drilling Ensures Swift Progress in Mission to Save Trapped Workers !

“Primary Objective in Uttarakhand Tunnel Rescue Shifts to Expedite Vertical Drilling and Swift Drill Blade Extraction for Resumption of Horizontal.

Tunnel rescue
Uttarkhand tunnel rescue.

“Primary Objective in Uttarakhand Tunnel Rescue Shifts to Expedite Vertical Drilling and Swift Drill Blade Extraction for Resumption of Horizontal Drilling.”

“41 Workers Still Trapped in Uttarkashi Tunnel, Northern India – 400km North of New Delhi, Since Nov 12. Overcoming Setbacks, Vertical Drilling Commences on Nov 26 After Challenges in Horizontal Drilling.”

“Ensuring workers’ survival, a dedicated passage guarantees the provision of food, medicines, and essential items. Simultaneously, a communication channel has been established, connecting tunnel workers with the outside world. This strategic setup not only facilitates basic necessities but also establishes a crucial link for information exchange, maintaining a lifeline for those inside. Active measures are in place to safeguard the well-being of the trapped workers, fostering hope and resilience amid challenging circumstances.”

“Vertical digging progress stands at 20 meters out of the required 86 meters, with an anticipated four-day timeline for completion. The Indian Army’s Corps of Engineers, specifically the Madras Sappers unit, has joined the rescue efforts at the tunnel site. National Disaster Management Authority reports six ongoing rescue plans, identifying horizontal drilling as the optimal solution. Continuous efforts showcase a coordinated approach, combining expertise and resources to expedite the workers’ safe extraction from the tunnel.”

What is the rationale behind opting for vertical drilling in tunnel rescue work ?

Due to a breakdown and entanglement of the horizontal drilling auger machine in debris, the process is stalled. Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami anticipates its removal in the next few hours, paving the way for manual drilling to commence. Simultaneously, efforts are underway to extract the auger machine. Additionally, the National Disaster Management Authority expects the arrival of a sideways drilling machine overnight, enhancing the rescue operation’s capabilities by diversifying drilling methods.

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Trapped workers, hailing from humble backgrounds, earned as little as ₹18,000 ($216). A resident of Lakhimpur Kheri in Uttar Pradesh, identified by the last name Chaudhary, expresses concern for his son among the 40 trapped workers. He vows, “Once he’s out, no more work here.” Chaudhary, who communicated with his son Manjeet via the newly established channel, emphasizes the determination to prevent a return to such hazardous employment, as reported by the Press Trust of India.

“We arrived here in dire financial straits, having taken a ₹9,000 loan against my wife’s jewelry. Fortunately, the administration provided me with a jacket and shoes, and they even cleared our loan. Among the fifteen workers are individuals from Jharkhand, eight from Uttar Pradesh, five each from Odisha and Bihar, three from West Bengal, two from both Uttarakhand and Assam, and one from Himachal Pradesh.”

What will happen Next ?

Currently, the primary emphasis is on accelerating vertical drilling and extracting the drill blade to transition back to horizontal drilling. Rescue teams intend to manually excavate through the remaining debris to access the trapped workers, as indicated by officials. They affirm that navigating horizontally through the collapsed tunnel debris remains the safest course of action.

Summary of Tunnel rescue in Uttarkhand :

The Indian Army has joined the rescue operation for 41 workers trapped in Uttarakhand’s collapsed tunnel for 15 days. Plasma cutters from Hyderabad are used to dismantle the auger machine, expected to complete today. Vertical drilling has begun for an alternative rescue route. International expert Arnold Dix revealed the auger machine breakdown, causing delays. Families express frustration as the slow rescue pace worries trapped workers. The operation started on Nov 12 after a tunnel collapse, with ongoing efforts to send essentials through a small pipe. Trapped workers receive mobile phones for entertainment.

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