In a remarkable development, rescuers have successfully delivered hot meals to 41 labourers trapped in the Silkyara tunnel for over a week after an alternative six-inch lifeline pipe reached the collapsed structure in Uttarkashi. The cook, Hemant, who prepared the Khichdi for the stranded workers, expressed that this marks the first time a hot meal has reached the laborers.
“We are sending Khichdi inside the tunnel. This is the first time a hot meal is being sent. We are only preparing the food which we have been recommended,” shared Hemant.
The breakthrough lifeline pipe, reaching the 2 km-built tunnel portion, now enables the delivery of essential items, including food, mobiles, and chargers to the trapped workers. Colonel Deepak Patil, the rescue operation in-charge, highlighted the significance of the alternative lifeline in facilitating the rescue efforts.
“To ensure the well-being of the labourers, we have prepared a list of available food options with the help of doctors. Plastic cylindrical bottles with wide mouths will be used to send bananas, apples, Khichdi, and Daliya,” added Colonel Patil.
The collapse in the under-construction tunnel occurred on November 12, trapping the workers due to falling muck. The arrival of the lifeline pipe and the successful delivery of hot meals have brought a sense of relief and hope among the trapped labourers.
Anshu Manish Khulko, the Director of National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation (NHIDCL), expressed joy at the breakthrough and stated that rescue efforts would now proceed with full force. Additionally, two robotics machines from the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) have been deployed at the site to aid in the rescue operation.
Despite challenges posed by loose strata and rubble inside the tunnel, the arrival of the lifeline and ongoing rescue efforts signal a positive turn in the mission to evacuate the trapped labourers.”
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