Work resumes at Silkyara tunnel after 2 months | Latest News India - Hindustan Times

Work resumes at Silkyara tunnel after 2 months

Jan 30, 2024 08:45 PM IST

Work resumes at Silkyara tunnel after 2 months

On the instructions of the Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, construction work of protective nature has begun from both Barkot and Silkyara ends of the tunnel, an official here said.

HT Image
HT Image

Shuttering has started for the construction of a 'centre wall' of the tunnel while the work on an under construction bridge at the mouth of the tunnel from Silkyara side has also started.

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After getting permission from the ministry, work has started gradually and will pick up pace in 15 days,said Colonel Deepak Patil, Project Manager of National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (NHIDCL).

Colonel Patil had inspected the work on Saturday. He said protection work will be done first in the sensitive area of about 100 metres between the landslide hit spot and the tunnel's mouth in Silkyara.

Workers will be sent inside through the escape passage prepared for the safe exit of the trapped workers so that 'dewatering' can be done.

After the Silkyara tunnel accident, business in hotels, ‘dhabas’ and grocery shops outside it had slowed. Villagers are happy with the resumption of work at the tunnel.

Even the labourers who were among the trapped and had gone home post rescue are gradually returning to the site to restart work. While some of them have already arrived, others will soon be arriving.

Kiran Jayada, who runs a grocery shop, said she was in contact with a labourer who had to be rescued from the tunnel, who told her that he would be back for work soon.

The labourer, Manik, had offered her Diwali sweets on November 11, a day before the tunnel collapse, she said. She recalled how nervous she was when the workers got trapped in the tunnel. She used to pray to revered local deity Baba Boukhnag every day for their safe evacuation, Jayada said.

On the morning of November 12 last year, 41 labourers were trapped in the 4.5 km long under-construction tunnel due to a cave-in that followed a landslide. However, they were all rescued safely after an enormous effort involving various agencies, national and international experts that lasted 17 days.

Construction work at the tunnel had been suspended since the accident.

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