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Without moving into the Tapovan tunnel, rescuers plan to dig deep | India News


TAPOVAN / DEHRADUN: Hope is shattered into 40-second chunks here. Every time an excavator enters Tunnel 1 of the Tapovan-Vishnugad hydroelectric project, in which 34 men are trapped, those waiting outside hold their breath.
If the excavator manages to remove some debris when it emerges, it is relieved. If not, it adds another excruciating minute to your long wait.
For four days now, the 50 members of the rescue team have been trying to dredge a passage towards the stranded men, but have made little progress in the 1.6 km tunnel. So on Wednesday there was a change of plans.
“We have marked a point 70 m inside the main tunnel, where we will start digging. Approximately 12 m further down there is a sediment washing tunnel (which carries the sediment-laden water). This is connected to the main tunnel at a point beyond the mud and debris. We hope that the trapped workers are in an auxiliary tunnel that can be accessed through the discharge tunnel, ”said ITBP spokesperson Vivek Pandey.
2 more bodies found, the number of victims of tragedies in the United Kingdom rises to 34
Until Tuesday, the “180mpoint” had been a catchphrase: it’s the point along the 1.6km tunnel where it forks and where the rescue team believes the strip of mud may have stopped short. This was where they had initially thought they should go. But that curve has been difficult to reach. An alternative plan had to be made, ”Ashok Kumar told TOI Uttarakhand DGP.
This is the only place in the path of Sunday’s devastating flooding where government and rescue officials believe survivors can be found. Elsewhere, two more bodies were found on Wednesday, bringing the balance to 34, of which 10 have been identified. And 170 are still missing.
As a TOI team watched the rescue operations through Tuesday night, the challenges had been apparent: the lights go out, the water flows in and undoes all its work, and the temperature hovers around the sub-zero mark. But the rescue team, said the senior official overseeing the night operations, is prepared for this. “What worries us,” he added, “are the men inside.” While they continue to work, the relatives of those trapped inside take turns staying awake. Most are too anxious to finish the night.

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