PM dials up U’khand CM Dhami, enquires about rescue operation

New Delhi : Amid ongoing efforts to rescue 41 trapped workers from Uttarakhand’s Silkyara tunnel, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday once again spoke to Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami over the phone and enquired about the ongoing operation to get them out safely.

Taking to X, Dhami said that he informed the Prime Minister about the positive progress made in the past 24 hours.

“Prime Minister Narendra Modi ji spoke on the phone today and took information about the ongoing rescue operations to provide food, medicines and other essential items to the workers trapped in the tunnel under construction in Silkyara, Uttarkashi and to get them out safely, ” he posted.

“Informed the Prime Minister about the rescue operations conducted with mutual coordination between central agencies, international experts and the state administration. During this, he was also informed about the positive progress made in the last 24 hours and the morale boosted by the talks between the workers and their families, ” the Chief Minister said.

“We are receiving continuous guidance from the Prime Minister to deal with this difficult situation, which provides new energy to all of us every day to take out the labor brothers quickly and safely with full strength, ” he added.

Fresh pictures that emerged from the tunnel collapse site showed that the 41 labourers trapped inside were mostly safe, an official said on Tuesday, adding that those engaged in the rescue operations will now try to drill the tunnel vertically to create an evacuation passage.

Thick pipes have been brought to the Silkyara Tunnel by helicopter from Odisha in addition to a large vertical drilling machine to create the evacuation passage.

These heavy-duty pipes and the vertical drilling machine will be taken to the mountain above the tunnel for boring, officials said.

Arnold Dix, an international tunneling expert from Australia, is leading the rescue operation. The official said the location for drilling above the tunnel has already been identified and the rescue team is ready to execute the entire operation.

The vertical machine will conduct drilling from above the tunnel towards the bottom. The special feature of this machine is that it can perform drilling in a large area.

On Tuesday, officials successfully established communication with the trapped workers with the help of an endoscopic camera.

The labourers appeared on camera for the first time since being trapped ten days ago.

On November 12, a portion of the under-construction tunnel from Silkyara to Barkot collapsed due to debris falling in the 60 metre stretch on the Silkyara side of the tunnel