Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami said that the pipe laying work inside the Silkyara tunnel where the efforts to bring out 41 trapped workers is underway has been completed. “With the blessing of Baba Baukh Nag Ji, prayers of crores of countrymen and the tireless work of the rescue teams engaged in the rescue operation, the work of laying pipes in the tunnel to take out the workers has been completed. Soon all the labourers will be taken out,” CM Dhami said in a post on X.
During a press briefing earlier today, the Nodal Officer for the Silkyara rescue operation and Secretary to the Uttarakhand government, Neeraj Khairwal, also said that if there are no more hurdles, the rescuers are anticipating an early evacuation of the trapped labourers. Meanwhile, ambulances, NDRF personnel, SDRF and several other agencies have been deployed at the entrance of the tunnel. The NDRF team will be going inside the tunnel to bring out the trapped labourers one by one, as per official sources.
Micro tunneling expert Chris Cooper said that the vertical drilling works have been stopped and they are focusing on manual drilling which is progressing on a swift pace. He added that the team is expecting to see some results by evening around 5 pm.
“We are still mining. Everybody is very excited and energetic. Let us see what happens. We have stopped vertical drilling and the focus is on manual drilling,” Chris Cooper said. “We have got a couple of more metres to go. We are expecting to see some results by 5 pm. 2-3 metres are left,” he added.
Earlier today, Prime Minister Narendra Modi took stock of the ongoing rescue and relief efforts from Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami via call. PM Modi inquired about the well-being of the trapped workers and instructed the Chief Minister to ensure their safety along with those involved in rescue operations.
The relatives of the 41 trapped labourers have been asked to be prepared and keep the clothes and bags of the workers ready as the ongoing rescue effort raises hopes of an early evacuation, as per official sources. According to the sources, the workers will be taken to Chinyalisaur Hospital after being rescued and brought out.