Thu, 30 Nov 2023

Uttarkashi (Uttarakhand) [India], November 18 (ANI): Chris Cooper, a micro tunnelling expert arrived at the Silkyara tunnel incident site on Saturday to monitor the rescue operation.

Chris Cooper is a Chartered Engineer with an experienced track record for delivery of Major International key civil engineering infrastructure, Metro tunnels, Large Caverns, Dams, Railway, and Mining Projects.

Cooper who is also a consultant for the Rishikesh Karnprayag rail project has reached the site to monitor the rescue operation of 40 workers trapped inside the tunnel for six days now.

Speaking to ANI, Cooper said "I don't have any information as of now. I reached here last night only."The heavy-duty drilling machine which was expected to arrive today from Indore has also reached the Silkyara tunnel site.

Bhaskar Khulbe, former Advisor, PMO and Mangesh Ghildiyal, Deputy Secretary PMO also arrived at Silkyara tunnel on Saturday to monitor the situation.

Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami on Saturday is also holding a meeting with senior officials to review the relief and rescue operations that occurred in the under-construction Silkyara Tunnel located on the Uttarkashi-Yamnotri road.

The ongoing drilling work to reach the 40 trapped workers inside the Silkyara tunnel was halted on Saturday after the rescuers bored 25 metres into the rubble.

Speaking to ANI over the telephone, Anshu Manish Khulko, director of the tunnel-making company, National HighwaysInfrastructure Development Corporation Limited (NHIDCL), said the drilling work to reach the trapped workers is suspended for now.

Asked if the drilling work was stopped due to a snag in the machine being used in the rescue operation, Khulko added, "There was no fault in the machine."He also said the managing director of NHIDCL is expected to reach the incident site on Saturday and will share further details after taking stock of the ongoing rescue work.

Another heavy-duty drilling machine requisitioned from Indore in Madhya Pradesh is likely to reach the tunnel site later on Saturday.

The under-construction tunnel between Silkyara and Dandalgaon on the Brahmakhal-Yamunotri national highway collapsed in the early hours of November 12.

The 4531-metre Silkyara Tunnel is part of the Chardham Project of Ministry of Road Transport and Highways and will link the Gangotri and Yamunotri axis under the Radi pass area.

The tunnel is being constructed by NHIDCL through Navayuga Engineering Company Ltd at a cost of Rs 853.79 crore. (ANI)

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