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Operation Expected to Continue for 2-3 Days to Rescue Trapped Laborers in Uttarakhand Tunnel: Union Minister

Minister V K Singh assures that there's a backup plan in case one machine encounters issues – if one stops, the other will take over.

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Nov 16 (The Street Press India) – On Thursday, Union Minister V K Singh shared that we’re doing everything possible to safely rescue 40 workers stuck in the Silkyara tunnel in Uttarakhand. Though it might take another two or three days, we’re working hard to bring them out.

Singh told reporters, “It (evacuation) can happen even sooner than that but in circumstances like this, we should keep an outer limit of two-three days so that we can deal with an obstacle if it comes.”

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“Our priority is that they stay safe. Our priority is that they are evacuated at the earliest. All efforts are being made for that,” said the Union Minister of State for Road Transport and Highways, emphasizing this after reviewing the rescue operation. He also mentioned having spoken to the trapped laborers, reassuring that they are safe and in good spirits.

The workers are stuck between the collapsed section of the tunnel and a two-kilometer-long area where there’s a continuous supply of oxygen, electricity, food, and water, Singh explained. Addressing the disaster in the region where the cave-in happened on Sunday, he noted, “According to data, it was stable for four-and-a-half years. But for some reason, the cave-in occurred.” Singh pointed out that the mountains in the area are young and delicate. He mentioned that a thorough examination of all these aspects will take place once the rescue operation concludes.

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When questioned about the possibility of a high-level inquiry into the collapse, Singh stated that it could be considered after the rescue operation concludes. He emphasized, “We would look at that when our minds are settled. Our focus now is to evacuate our people safely as early as possible.” Singh also assured that there’s an alternative strategy in place, ensuring that if one machine faces issues, another will take over. He concluded, “We will not let the operation stop. Rest assured.”

Singh highlighted the close coordination between the central and state governments, along with various agencies involved in the rescue. He mentioned that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is regularly briefed on the developments. Singh also pointed out ongoing consultations with global tunnelling technology experts specializing in such rescue operations. Additionally, he noted discussions with mining and railway experts to ensure the adoption of the most suitable methods for the safe evacuation of the trapped laborers.

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Sk Sahiluddin
Sk Sahiluddin
Sk Sahiluddin is a seasoned journalist and media professional with a passion for delivering accurate and impactful news coverage to a global audience. As the Editor of The Street Press India, he plays a pivotal role in shaping the editorial direction and ensuring the highest journalistic standards are upheld.
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