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Uttarakhand: After 3 days of rescue ops, govt told labourers might be trapped in another tunnel

According to officials, NTPC authorities have told the Uttarakhand govt that the last-known worksite of the labourers is a tunnel 12 metres below the one where rescue operations were on.

Written by Lalmani Verma | Chamoli (uttaranchal) |
Updated: February 10, 2021 9:12:19 pm
Uttarakhand flash floodThe site of the Tapovan-Vishnugad hydropower project in Chamoli district of Uttarakhand on Monday. (Express photo by Gajendra Yadav)

After three days of rescue operations in NTPC’s Intake Adit tunnel in Uttarakhand’s flash flood-hit Tapovan area, the strategy was changed Wednesday evening, after NTPC authorities said the labourers were trapped in another silt filtration tunnel located 12 metres below Intake Adit.

Sources said that Uttarakhand government authorities, in a meeting today, directed NTPC officials to share “correct” information, and send expert engineers of the tunnel to the site to assist in the rescue operations.

Garhwal Commissioner Ravinath Raman told The Indian Express, “Earlier, we were told about the probability of about 34 labourers present 180 metres inside the Intake Adit tunnel, and we were digging in that direction. Today, they (NTPC authorities) informed us that the last known worksite of the labourers is a silt filtration tunnel (SFT) 12 metres below the Intake Adit Tunnel and about 72 metres from its opening. With this, the strategy of going up to 180 metres has been changed. Drilling will be done in the SFT and lights with cameras will be lowered into the area.”

The Commissioner said that a buffer area was being developed at a distance of about 72 metres, where drilling has to be done to reach the SFT. The Commissioner also said that it has been decided to send tunnel expert engineers to the site. “The tunnel has become unstable at places due to slush. So we want expert experienced engineers to guide the rescue operation,” Raman said.

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