Uttarakhand Tunnel Collapse: Protection Umbrella Being Laid Inside Silkyara Tunnel For Rescue Team

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Uttarkashi: Amidst the ongoing efforts to rescue 41 workers trapped for two weeks inside the Silkyara tunnel, officials have initiated the installation of a protective umbrella to safeguard the rescue team.

In an additional initiative to support the 41 workers stranded in the Silkyara tunnel, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) has intervened by setting up a dedicated landline connection. This initiative aims to ease the workers’ distress by enabling them to communicate with their families during this challenging time.

Kundan, a BSNL official, said they are in the process of sending a small landline phone to the stranded workers through the pipe. “Through this, they will be able to talk directly to their families,” he said.

He said BSNL has set up a small telephone exchange at the tunnel site and the phone will be connected through a line.

A senior official involved in the rescue operation said some mobile phones have also been sent to the stranded workers so that they can play games.

“There is no mobile network nearby but we are also considering providing Wi-Fi connectivity. We are also considering providing a cricket bat and ball to the workers so that they can play cricket. You can spend your time playing because there is a lot of space inside the tunnel where the workers are trapped, so cricket can be played easily,” the official said.

National Disaster Management Authority Member, Lt General Syed Ata Hasnain (retired) on Saturday said that there has been no movement in the last 24 hours in the drilling work to rescue the 41 workers trapped in the Uttarkashi tunnel for 13 days.

The NDMA member said that a portion of the American-Auger machine was broken, blocking the potential escape route.

“The current update is that (in) the last 24 hours, there hasn’t been any movement within this bore tunnel that was being made for the rescue. Because…the Auger machine itself has had a bit of an accident. A portion of it (has actually) broken, and that broken portion has to be pulled out (of the escape pipe),” Hasnain told ANI.

After a portion of the tunnel caved in on November 12, the debris falling in the 60-metre stretch on the Silkyara side of the tunnel trapped 41 labourers inside the under-construction structure.

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