“We now have efficiently drilled a 75mm-wide and 12m-long gap to the silt flushing tunnel (which carries sediment and particles out of the dam’s tunnel) on Friday night… The nice signal is that there isn’t any water or slush stress noticed within the tunnel now,” ITBP spokesperson Vivek Pandey advised TOI. “Nevertheless, we have now not been capable of insert a digicam into the silt flushing tunnel because of technical difficulties.”
The rescue workforce — with NDRF, Army and ITBP personnel — will now work via the evening to widen this opening. “A gap with a bigger diameter can be carved. A drilling machine has been deployed to try this. The goal is to get that bore gap to a 250-300mm diameter,” Pandey mentioned.
About 180m from the mouth of the primary tunnel, there’s a bend. The slush that surged via the tunnel due to the flood is believed to have slowed down or subsided at this level. The lads might be trapped someplace past this bend. The unique plan was to carve a passage straight via the tunnel up to now. However that didn’t make a lot headway. The swamp-filled tunnel, the place water retains flowing in and undoing the work that has gone into clearing the particles, had been troublesome to navigate and so they solely cleared about 100m of the passage.
So, on Wednesday, rescuers switched to the drilling plan — digging vertically at some extent 70m from the mouth of the tunnel to interrupt into the silt flushing tunnel that ought to go proper as much as the trapped males. However this plan needed to be deserted on Thursday when the drill hit a rock and will go no additional. Hours later, the waters of the Dhauliganga began rising and threw a spanner within the works once more. When the operations lastly resumed, the rescue workforce went again to the unique plan of scooping out particles.
On Friday, they switched gears once more — a particular drilling machine was introduced in, offered by the Tehri Improvement Company Restricted, a supply advised TOI. And this time, it labored. By Friday afternoon, they’d drilled as much as 10m and by night, they’d reached the silt flushing tunnel. Uttarakhand DGP Ashok Kumar mentioned, “There’s a risk that the employees are trapped on this auxiliary tunnel.”