UTTARKASHI: Hours after an alternative six-inch lifeline pipe reached the Silkyara tunnel, where 41 labourers have been trapped for over a week, rescuers are filling Khichdi in cylindrical bottles to be sent to the stranded workers.
Hemant, the cook who prepared the Khichdi for the trapped labourers, said that this is the first time a hot meal is being sent to the workers.
“This food will be sent inside the tunnel. This is the first time a hot meal is being sent. We are sending Khichdi. We are only preparing the food which we have been recommended,” he said.
On November 12, it was reported that a collapse occurred in an under-construction tunnel from Silkyara to Barkot due to a muck falling in the 60-meter stretch on the Silkyara side of the tunnel, trapping 41 labourers.
Earlier in the day, in a major breakthrough, a six-inch pipe reached the 2 km-built tunnel portion of the collapsed structure where labourers are trapped.
Rescue operation in-charge Colonel Deepak Patil said that through this alternative lifeline we can send food, mobiles, and chargers inside the tunnel.
On what food items will be sent to trapped labourers, he said that, keeping in mind the condition of the labourers, a list has been prepared with the help of doctors on available food options. “We are bringing plastic cylindrical bottles with wide mouths so that we can send bananas, apples, Khichdi, and Daliya,” he added.
Earlier in the day, the Director of National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation (NHIDCL), Anshu Manish Khulko, said there was an atmosphere of joy among the trapped labourers after they came to know about the breakthrough.
The NHIDCL Director said the rescuers will now go with full force to evacuate the labourers.
“Earlier there was doubt what would happen if the first lifeline was closed. But now that we have established an alternative lifeline, now we will go with full force,” Khulko said.
Meanwhile, two robotics machines of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) – weighing 20 kg and 50 kg- have arrived at the site.
On the use of the robotics machine from DRDO, the NHIDCL Director said, “An attempt was made to use that machine inside, but as I told you, the strata and rubble inside (the tunnel) are very loose, so it was not successful there.” (ANI)