Dehradun: While vertical drilling is underway to rescue 41 workers trapped inside the Silkyara mine in Uttarakhand, the National Disaster Management Authority has said that lateral drilling will soon begin.
Speaking to the media about the latest information on the rescue operations of the miners, National Disaster Management Authority member retired Lt. Gen. Saidu Ata Hasnain said, “Small-scale drillers known as red hole mining will soon start drilling. The pieces of the drilling machine stuck in the rubble have been removed with the help of a plasma cutter brought from Hyderabad. “The government is fully committed to the safe and secure rescue of the 41 workers who have been trapped in the mine for more than two weeks. Government and private companies are involved in the rescue operation,” he said.
Attention has been focused on two methods of retrieving workers: vertical and lateral man-drilling. Other drilling efforts are also in progress from Barcode area where the tunnel will be completed. A total of 86 meters of vertical drilling is required for workers trapped inside the mine to escape. A second chance to reach the trapped workers is to lay a pipe 1.2 meters vertically from the top of the mine.
Meanwhile, Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister P.K. Sharma, Home Secretary Ajay K Bhalla and Uttarakhand Chief Secretary SS Sandhu reviewed the ongoing rescue operations.
Earlier, a landslide occurred on the 12th in the tunnel under construction between Silkyara-Barkot in Uttarakhand. Out of this, 41 workers were trapped inside the tunnel. To retrieve them, the sides were drilled with an American-made auger machine. But the blade of the machine got caught in the wires and broke and got stuck in the tunnel. This made the machine unusable. Subsequently, the attempt to drill the side was abandoned.
Instead, the plan was to drill vertically from the top of the mine to rescue the workers. Vertical drilling is currently underway. In this case, the rescue team said that 31 meters of vertical drilling has been done so far. The work to rescue the workers is going on for the 16th day.