SHIMLA: 'Untiring efforts' are being made to rescue the three labourers trapped for more than 95 hours inside an under-construction tunnel which collapsed on Saturday night, Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh today said today.
Massive rescue operations is underway to retrieve the employees trapped inside tunnel No 4 of Kiratpur-Nerchowk four-lane project near Bilaspur in Himachal Pradesh, Singh said.
Hoping for the survival of the labourers, who are trapped inside the tunnel filled with huge mounds of muck, the CM directed the administration to spare no efforts in relief and rescue operations.
Singh said that experts of Border Roads Organization (BRO) and R S Rao, Director (Tunnels), who was also looking after the Rohtang Tunnel project, reached the site on September 13 morning and had been camping there with his team and carrying out rescue operation since then.
The rescue operations are being carried out "round the clock" under the technical supervision of BRO and a team of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) from Bathinda and Army experts from Chandimandir also made detailed survey and were satisfied with the ongoing operation, he said.
Teams of Jaypee and Sutlej Jal Vidyut Nigam ltd (SJVNL) were also present at the site and were co-operating in the rescue efforts, he said.
The Chief Minister said that the foremost objective was to reach out to the trapped persons. Their families are being provided boarding and lodging near the site.
Chief Minister said that an inquiry would be conducted into the mishap, but the foremost efforts is to maintain first line of contact with the trapped persons.
Meanwhile, the Deputy Commissioner, Bilaspur, Manasi Sahay Thakur informed that much headway has been made to reach the trapped labourers in the under-construction tunnel.
Thakur said that a breakthrough has been made today through the tunnel's top vertical insertion as 50 meters had been drilled and the work on the horizontal insertion was also underway.
"It is only a matter of three to four hours for maintaining immediate line of contact with those trapped inside," she said.
It was after drilling 25 meters on vertical insertion that water came out from the surface causing hardships and delay. However, the rescue team have drilled 50 meters and after 10 to 12 meters of more insertion and we are hopeful of reaching out to the persons trapped inside, she added.