In the wake of a recent landslide in Uttarakhand, the rescue mission for 40 trapped labourers faces unprecedented challenges. The under-construction tunnel collapse has held these workers captive for over 70 hours, with a new setback arising as a landslide disrupted ongoing efforts.
Rescue teams, comprising over 160 personnel from the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), State Disaster Response Force (SDRF), Border Roads Organisation (BRO), and Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), have been tirelessly working to create a passage for the trapped labourers since the tunnel’s collapse on Sunday morning.
The initial plan involved utilizing drilling equipment to push through 800- and 900-millimeter diameter sections of mild steel pipes into the rubble, creating a vital escape passage for the workers. However, the recent landslide on Tuesday night forced officials to dismantle the auger drilling machine and restart the platform preparation, leading to a temporary setback.
The rescue operation, though momentarily hampered, is actively adapting to the situation. Currently, efforts are underway to set up a new drilling machine, with optimism that the trapped labourers, primarily migrants from Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Odisha, Uttarakhand, and Himachal Pradesh, will be evacuated by Wednesday, as per the latest updates.
Despite the challenges, the trapped individuals remain safe inside the tunnel, receiving essential supplies such as oxygen, water, food packets, and medicines through tubes. Communication channels have been established with the workers through Walkie-Talkies, initially facilitated by a note on a scrap of paper.
As the rescue teams work diligently to overcome the hurdles posed by the landslide, the priority remains the safety and well-being of the trapped labourers. The innovative approach of using drilling equipment to create an escape passage underscores the commitment to a swift and effective rescue, showcasing the resilience and adaptability of the rescue teams in the face of unforeseen challenges.