November 13, 2023
DEHRADUN – Around 35-40 workers have been trapped inside an under-construction tunnel on Yamunotri-Uttarkashi national highway 94 that crumbled under the impact of a landslide early Sunday morning. Rescue teams of state disaster management department are trying hard
Information provided by the SDRF and Uttarkashi Police said that the incident took place between 5 and 6 am in the morning when the new shift of workers had barely started.
According to the National Highway and Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (NHIDCL), around 35-40 workers were in the under-constructed Brahmakal-Pulgaon tunnel when a thick mass of the land slid over it around 270 meters inside from one end located at village Silkyara. Other end of the tunnel lies 4.5 kilometres away at Polgaon village.
It is said nearly 65 meters of the tunnel is broken due to the landslide. Opening of the blocked portion will be a challenge.
Police said the construction of the ill-fated tunnel is taking place simultaneously from both the ends and now it is in final stages. Excavation work of four kilometers has been completed with more than 700-800 workers working day and night. The 4.5 km long tunnel is being constructed with state-of-the-art technology with the cost of Rs 853 crore.
“The Landslide occurred early in the morning resulting in the crumbling of a portion of the tunnel close to Silkyara village. Around 40 workers are trapped in the tunnel. The number may go up as SDRF rescue teams, fire brigade and Uttarkashi Police are making all-out efforts to save lives. Equipment required in the mission has been put in place to rescue the workers,” said Uttarkashi Superintendent of Police Arpan Yaduvanshi in his media statement on Sunday.
The trapped workers belonged to the Navyug Engineering Company Limited that was sublet the tunnel work by the nodal agency and central government PSU NHIDCL in 2019.