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Uttarkashi Tunnel Rescue Faces Setback as Technical Glitch Halts Operation

The rescue operation to save 41 workers trapped in the Silkyara tunnel in Uttarkashi faced another setback as a technical glitch halted drilling efforts. Despite challenges, including a cracked drilling machine and repairs to the platform, authorities remain optimistic. The introduction of new drone technology adds a dimension to rescue efforts in GPS-denied areas.

The rescue team, using an American-made auger machine, encountered a technical glitch, leading to the temporary suspension of drilling efforts. The operation aims to extricate 41 workers trapped in a collapsed portion of the Silkyara tunnel for over a week.

Drone technology is being employed in the rescue operation, allowing access to GPS-denied areas such as underground tunnels and mines. The technology, recently introduced in India, focuses on determining the quickest and safest way to rescue the trapped workers while prioritizing the safety of the rescue team.

Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami provided assurance that the rescue operation is in its final stage. He highlighted collaborative efforts between central and state government agencies and the continuous updates received by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The auger drilling machine, which developed cracks, has been reassembled after repairs to the platform. A new pipe is set to be inserted, aiming to push further into the tunnel with no obstacles. The process involves careful consideration and estimation, acknowledging challenges encountered during the rescue.

Challenges include a compressed section of the inserted pipe due to friction during drilling, leading to a 2-metre part being cut off. The platform on which the drilling machine is mounted developed cracks, requiring repairs. Ground penetration radar indicated no metallic obstruction for the next 5 meters inside the tunnel, providing hope for smoother drilling.

Despite setbacks, rescue efforts persist, targeting the completion of the operation and the safe extrication of all trapped workers. The collapsed portion, covering a 60-meter stretch on the Silkyara side of the tunnel, has presented formidable challenges that authorities aim to overcome.

The Uttarkashi tunnel rescue operation encounters challenges, emphasizing the complexities of extricating trapped workers. While technical glitches and repairs pose setbacks, collaborative efforts and the integration of drone technology signal a determined approach to overcoming obstacles and ensuring the safety of all involved. The situation remains dynamic, with ongoing efforts to navigate the complexities of the rescue operation.

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