Ritu Khanduri Bhushan talks about her role as the Speaker of Uttarakhand, a state where women have played a powerful role.
Efforts to evacuate workers trapped in the collapsed Silkyara-Pulgaon tunnel of Uttarkashi got a boost on Friday as more than 25-metre-long escape tunnel was readied by the evening. A new high-speed heavy auger machine will be airlifted by Saturday.
NHIDCL director Anshu Manish Khalko claimed that 24 metres of the escape tunnel was readied by Friday afternoon while the remaining part is likely to be completed by Saturday if the drilling work goes unhindered.
Khalko said: “Hectic efforts are being made to reach the stranded tunnel workforce on the other extreme of the debris. Besides, we have decided to airlift another high-speed heavy auger machine to keep it in reserve if the present machine develops any snag or stops midway. New machine is likely to arrive by Saturday morning.”
Khalko added: “Initially, the drilling speed of the machine is usually slow but it will increase with time.” On the other hand, a district administration official present on the ground informed late on Friday evening that more than 25 metre escape tunnel drilling was over.
Meanwhile, medical and rescue teams kept in reserve at the tragedy site conducted a mock evacuation drill of workers trapped inside the tunnel. As of now, the rescue operation is going on at full speed. There was some obstacle initially but it was resolved and we hope the trapped workers will be evacuated soon.
“Police, SDRF and NDRF teams have conducted mock drills in tandem for the swift rescue operation of the trapped workers once they are evacuated,” Uttarkashi SP Arpan Yaduvanshi said.