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"Hoping for good news by evening": Nodal Officer for Silkyara rescue raises hope of early evacuation of trapped labourers

Uttarkashi: Nodal Officer for the Silkyara rescue operation and Secretary to the Uttarakhand government, Neeraj Khairwal, during a press briefing on Tuesday, informed that if there are no more hurdles, the rescuers are anticipating an early evacuation of the trapped labourers.
Addressing the media at the tunnel site, Neeraj Khairwal said, "As of now, we have pushed 55.3 metres of the pipe. This includes clearing of the rubble as well as laying the pipe. Only a little more distance remains. It might be somewhere between 57-59 metres."
"It might take a few more hours if there are no more hurdles. By evening we are hoping. Let's pray and hope for the best," he added.
National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (NHIDCL) Managing Director Mahmood Ahmad said that vertical drilling up to 44 metres is completed out of 86 metres needed adding that the operations on all fronts are progressing equally.
"Vertical drilling is being done by SJVNL; drilling up to 44 metres out of the total 86 metres is complete. THDC executed 7th blast today. So, we gained another 1.5 metres. Work is ongoing, we have not stopped any of our various options," he said.
"As far as horizontal drilling through the debris is concerned, the one being done inside the tunnel is complete up to 55.3 metres. We are doing this through manual excavation. After that, we do de-mucking. Pipe pushing follows this. Perhaps we will need 5-6 metres more. We are now pushing in smaller lengthened pipes. We are hoping for good news by late evening," he added.
Earlier today, Prime Minister Narendra Modi took stock of the ongoing rescue and relief efforts from Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami via call.
PM Modi inquired about the well-being of the trapped workers and instructed the Chief Minister to ensure their safety along with those involved in rescue operations.
CM Dhami reviewed the ongoing rescue operations inside the tunnel this morning.
The relatives of the 41 trapped labourers have been asked to be prepared and keep the clothes and bags of the workers ready as the ongoing rescue effort raises hopes of an early evacuation, as per official sources.
According to the sources, the workers will be taken to Chinyalisaur Hospital after being rescued and brought out.
The multi-pronged rescue efforts continue at the Silkyara Tunnel collapse site with both vertical and manual drilling works taking off at an almost similar pace from atop the hill and inside the tunnel accordingly.

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