The Indian government is providing essential supplies to 41 workers who have been trapped in an under-construction tunnel in Uttarkashi district, Uttarakhand for the past seven days. Road, Transport and Highways Secretary Anurag Jain announced on Sunday that multivitamins, antidepressants, and dry fruits are being sent to the workers. Fortunately, there is still electricity and water available inside the tunnel, making it easier to provide food and other necessities to the trapped workers. The tunnel, located in Silkyara, is part of the Char Dham all-weather road project and is being constructed by the National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (NHIDCL).
The tunnel collapse occurred last Sunday at around 5:30 am, suspending the rescue operation. Efforts to drill and create an escape passage for the workers were hindered when a machine developed a snag. In response, the Union government held a high-level meeting to discuss alternative options for rescuing the workers. Different agencies, including ONGC, RVNL, Satluj Jal Vikas Nigam Ltd, BRO, and state PWD, along with NHIDCL, have been assigned specific responsibilities to establish early access to the trapped workers.
Rescue operations were temporarily halted on Friday when a cracking sound was heard in the tunnel during the positioning of a fifth pipe. This caused panic among the rescue team and raised concerns about the possibility of further collapse. As a result, the pipe-pushing activity was stopped immediately.
The government is making all efforts to ensure the safety and well-being of the trapped workers. The provision of essential supplies such as multivitamins, antidepressants, and dry fruits aims to support their health and morale during this challenging time.