Uttarkashi: A six-inch pipe has reached the Silkyara tunnel in Uttarkashi district through which nutritious food and medicines can be supplied to the 41 labourers, who are trapped for over a week after parts of the under-construction structure collapsed following a landslide.
The Director of National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation (NHIDCL), Anshu Manish Khulko, said that the 'alternative 6-inch lifeline' reached the labourers after drilling 53 metres.
He said that there was an atmosphere of joy among the trapped labourers after they came to know about this breakthrough.
"This 6-inch pipe is 53 metres long. This is a breakthrough for us. Apart from being an alternative lifeline, this will give us the facility that now we will be able to send both oxygen and food. And food which has nutritional value can be sent to the trapped labourers," Anshu Manish Khulko said.
On his talks with trapped labourers after the six-inch pipe reached the under-construction tunnel, he said, "a relative of Deepak Kumar, who is one of the trapped labourers, talked with them and he told me that there is an atmosphere of happiness among the workers inside the tunnel."
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.
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 ruble inside (the tunnel) are very loose, so it was not successful there."