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'Rat-hole mining illegal', Uttarkashi tunnel rescue official asked to respond, his reply

Rat-hole mining experts break through the last stretch of the rubble. The manual miners played a big role in the rescue operation. International experts were consulted regarding the shortest route for the workers to come out, said Uttarakhand CM Pushkar Singh Dhami.

Shashwat Bhandari Edited By: Shashwat Bhandari @ShashBhandari New Delhi Published on: November 28, 2023 23:20 IST
Member of National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) Lt.
Image Source : PTI Member of National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) Lt. Gen. (retd) Syed Ata Hasnain addresses a press conference regarding the rescue operations after a portion of an under-construction tunnel collapsed in Uttarakhand, in New Delhi.

Uttarkashi tunnel rescue: NDMA member Lieutenant General (Retired) Syed Ata Hasnain, one of the officials involved in the Uttarkashi tunnel rescue operation, said that India has achieved a tremendous achievement after 41 workers were successfully evacuated from the collapsed Silkyara tunnel site.

During the media briefing earlier today, Lieutenant General (Retired) Syed Ata Hasnain was asked to respond on the rat-hole mining approach which was used to dig up the remaining 10 meters of portion, since the was illegal. The technique was implemented after the American auger machine had broken down.

Responding to the reporter's question, Hasnain said, "The rat-hole mining may be illegal but a rat-hole miner's talent and experience is being used."

Speaking after all 41 workers were safely evacuated from the Silkyara tunnel, Syed Ata Hasnain said, "...India has achieved this tremendous achievement under the leadership of our Prime Minister and the various organisations that he leads, the PMO itself, from where his Principal Secretary has been leading the efforts, who has been on the ground himself and spoken to the workers at some time also gone to each and every site of the options which were being pursued by all the disaster management authorities at that particular time...The only message which needs to be realized and communicated is, this has been all of government and all of India operation.."

"...Visuals have been there of all the ambulances lined up. Individually these vehicles are being marched off and sent to the district hospital which is 30 km away and is just incidentally next to the airfield where a Chinook helicopter is also parked that will be available in the morning if the doctors decide that all 41 can be held together in that hospital...Tomorrow probably in two flights, the Chinook helicopter will be able to transport all of them to Rishikesh AIIMS and they will probably be kept for about 48 to 72 hours under observation to make sure that there's nothing secondary which emerges after they have come out from this confinement for the last 17 days..."

Amazing example of humanity and teamwork, says PM Modi

"The success of the rescue operation of our labour brothers in Uttarkashi is making everyone emotional.  I want to say to the friends who were trapped in the tunnel that your courage and patience are inspiring everyone. I wish you all well and good health.  It is a matter of great satisfaction that after a long wait, these friends of ours will now meet their loved ones. The patience and courage that all these families have shown in this challenging time cannot be appreciated enough. I also salute the spirit of all the people associated with this rescue operation. Their bravery and determination have given new life to our labour brothers. Everyone involved in this mission has set an amazing example of humanity and teamwork," Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted.

"I want to thank all the members who were part of this rescue operation...PM Modi was constantly in touch with me and was taking updates of the rescue op. He gave me the duty to rescue everyone safely anyhow.. without his support, this wouldn't have been possible. He spoke to me just now and instructed that medical check-ups of everyone must be done... and facilities must be done to take them to their homes...," said Uttarkhand CM Pushkar Singh Dhami.

The labourers get trapped as portions of the Silkyara-Dandalgaon under-construction tunnel on the Brahmkhal-Yamunotri highway collapse following a landslide at around 5.30 am on the day of Diwali.

Arrangements made to supply oxygen, electricity and eatables to the trapped labourers through air-compressed pipes as multiple agencies, including the NDRF, SDRF, BRO, project executing agency NHIDCL and ITBP, begin rescue efforts.

With inputs from PTI

ALSO READ | Uttarakhand govt announces Rs 1 lakh for each rescued worker, construction of temple at silkaya tunnel | VIDEO

ALSO READ | Worker shows victory sign while being rescued from Silkyara tunnel in Uttarkashi | See photo

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