There has been no success in opening the 1,500-metre-long Tapovan tunnel where around 30 people are believed to be trapped. Days after a glacier burst triggered massive floods in Rishi Ganga, Dhauli Ganga, and Alaknanda river systems, around 34 bodies have been recovered so far. Around 206 people, including 25-35 workers trapped inside the Tapovan tunnel, are still missing.
A focal point of the rescue operations has been to penetrate through tonnes of silt, sludge, and debris to get to the trapped workers. Rescue teams have also deployed modern technologies like drones and remote-sensing equipment and heavy earth-moving equipment to reach the trapped workers.
Drilling operations have begun to peep into the tunnel 12 to 13 meters at 2:00 am, the ITBP informed. Through these operations, the teams will try to see whether the tunnel is clear of slush or not and ascertain the chances of rescuing trapped persons.
The teams through boring operation will try to see whether the slush flushing tunnel below is clear of slush or otherwise to see chances of trapped persons being rescued from there. pic.twitter.com/f9hke5iKbX— ITBP (@ITBP_official) February 11, 2021
Indo-Tibetan Border Police SS Deswal has said the rescue operations to locate the trapped workers will continue till they reach a "logical conclusion".
Deswal said, "We are very hopeful that we will be able to rescue them. The workers are stated to be located at their work station that is about 180 meters from the month of the Tapovan tunnel."
Over 600 personnel from the Indian Army, ITBP, National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) are engaged in the search and rescue operations. Around 450 of them are from ITBP.