Uttarkashi tunnel: PM Modi dials Dhami, reviews rescue operation
New Delhi, Nov 24: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday dialed Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami and took stock of the rescue operation to evacuate workers trapped in the partially collapsed Silkyara tunnel in Uttarkashi.
Prime Minister Modi, who is calling Chief Minister Dhami daily since November 12 when the incident occurred and taking updates about the 41 trapped workers and their families, instructed him to make arrangements for their health check-up and medical care after their evacuation.
On hindrances being faced in rescue operation, Chief Minister Dhami told Prime Minister Modi that a parallel tunnel is being constructed to the partially collapsed Silkyara tunnel using the New Austrian Tunnel Method and the work is being hampered when some metallic items are obstructing auger machine.
The rescue operation is taking time as for resuming the drilling work, all metallic things have to be removed, he told the Prime Minister.
The Prime Minister enquired about the trapped workers' condition and the food and daily routine items given to them.
Prime Minister Modi also enquired about the condition of the workers engaged in relief and rescue work and the safety measures being taken for them.
The Prime Minister also took stock of the progress of the rescue operations and the work being done as well as the coordination between various agencies, and if any further cooperation was required.
Chief Minister Dhami informed the Prime Minister that besides monitoring the ongoing relief and rescue operations at the ground level, he has also established a temporary Chief Minister Camp Office in Matali, Uttarkashi so that the entire operation can be monitored in a better way.
A six-inch pipeline has been installed through which, fresh cooked food, fruits, dry fruits, milk, juice as well as disposable plates, brushes, towels, innerwear, toothpaste, soap, daily essential items are being sent to the trapped workers in the tunnel, Dhami told Prime Minister Modi.
Dhami told the Prime Minister that through this pipeline, a communication setup has been established by the SDRF, facilitating daily communication between trapped workers and their family members.
"The health of the trapped workers is being continuously monitored by the doctors of the temporary hospital established in Silkyara. Ambulances to the nearest hospital and 41 special beds have been arranged for the workers. Psychiatrists are also regularly counseling the workers trapped in the tunnel," he told the Prime Minister.
The workers engaged in relief and rescue operations are working with full dedication. Special attention is also being given to the safety of these workers. Safety canopy and escape tunnel have been made at the rescue site through pre-cast RCC box culvert and hume pipe, ensuring safe evacuation of relief operation workers in case of any emergency. Special attention is also being paid to other special instructions related to security, Dhami said.
Dhami informed that the state government has deployed a secretary-level officer has been deployed in Silkyara to ensure better coordination with the central agencies in the rescue operation.
"The Uttarkashi district administration and the state's disaster management machinery remain committed," the chief minister said.
Dhami said that the government is also taking care of the families of the workers and making arrangements for their accommodation, food, clothes and transportation.