New Delhi [India], November 20 (ANI): Assisting in the rescue operations underway to evacuate 41 workers trapped in the Silkyara tunnel in Uttarakhand, three aircraft of the Indian Air Force airlifted another 36 tonnes of critical equipment on Monday.
Taking to social media platform X, the IAF said that a C-17 and two C-130 J aircraft were employed.
#IAF assistance for the rescue operations at Uttarkashi continues unabated.
Employing a C-17 and two C-130 J aircraft, the IAF airlifted another 36 tonnes of critical equipment today.
— Indian Air Force (@IAF_MCC) November 20, 2023
“Indian Air Force assistance for the rescue operations at Uttarkashi continues unabated. Employing a C-17 and two C-130 J aircraft, the IAF airlifted another 36 tonnes of critical equipment today. IAF HADROps will continue until all the equipment is delivered,” IAF said in a post on X.
Meanwhile, after continuous drilling, earlier in the day, a six-inch pipe reached the 2 km-built tunnel portion of the collapsed structure where labourers are trapped for over a week.
Through that 53-metre-long alternative 6-inch lifeline, ‘nutritious’ food like Khichdi, fruits, medicines and essential items will be sent to the trapped workers.
While speaking to ANI, the Director of National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation (NHIDCL), Anshu Manish Khulko, said there was an atmosphere of joy among the trapped labourers after they came to know about this breakthrough.
“This 6-inch pipe is 53 meters long. This is a breakthrough for us. Apart from being an alternative lifeline, this will give us the facility that now we will be able to send both oxygen and food. And food which has nutritional value can be sent to the trapped labourers,” Anshu Manish Khulko said.
On his talks with trapped labourers after the six-inch pipe reached the under-construction tunnel, he said, “a relative of Deepak Kumar, who is one of the trapped labourers, talked with them and he told me that there is an atmosphere of happiness among the workers inside the tunnel.”
On November 12, it was reported that a collapse occurred in an under-construction tunnel from Silkyara to Barkot due to a muck falling in the 60-meter stretch on the Silkyara side of the tunnel, trapping 41 labourers.
The NHIDCL Director said the rescuers will now go with full force to evacuate the labourers.
“Earlier there was doubt what would happen if the first lifeline was closed. But now that we have established an alternative lifeline, now we will go with full force,” Khulko said.
Meanwhile, two robotics machines of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) – weighing 20 kg and 50 kg- have arrived at the site.
On the use of the robotics machine from DRDO, the NHIDCL Director said, “An attempt was made to use that machine inside, but as I told you, the strata and ruble inside (the tunnel) are very loose, so it was not successful there.” (ANI)