Central Trade Unions Seek Probe into Uttarakhand Tunnel Collapse


The workers have been trapped for 12 days after a portion of the under-construction tunnel collapsed on November 12…reports Asian Lite News

Ten Central Trade Unions (CTUs) express dismay over the Silkyara Tunnel collapse in Uttarkashi, citing a failure of authorities to take responsibility.

In a joint statement, CTUs highlight workplace safety shortcomings, urging the Centre to withdraw the Occupational Safety, Health, and Working Conditions Code and adopt International Labour Organization (ILO) conventions.

They criticised the delayed response to the trapped workers and call for a comprehensive investigation into planning lapses. The CTUs demand swift action, including convening the Indian Labour Conference to address worker concerns on legal codification.

Minister of State of Road Transport and Highways VK Singh and Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami reached the Silkaya tunnel in Uttarakashi on Thursday to inspect the progress of the rescue operation of 41 workers.

Speaking to reporters about the rescue operations outside the site, CM Dhami said that 45 metres of pipeline have been laid through an auger machine to rescue the workers.

“45 metres of pipeline have been laid through the auger machine. The rescue is in its final stages. There are some obstacles,. but I hope that the workers are rescued as early as possible. Post-rescue preparations have been done”.

Speaking on the post-rescue operations, CM said, “Ambulances and hospitals are ready for their (workers) check-up and treatment”.

He also said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is receiving updates about the multiple rescue operations on a daily basis.

“PM Modi is taking updates on the rescue every single day. He took the update today as well. Our experts are working day and night to rescue the workers,” He said.

The workers have been trapped for 12 days after a portion of the under-construction tunnel collapsed on November 12.

Meanwhile, Chanchal Singh Bisht, a family member of one of the trapped workers, said while speaking to ANI, “My cousin is inside. It looks like he will come out today… I had a conversation with him, he asked me to go home and said that he was fine.”

Earlier, medical equipment reached the site as efforts to rescue 41 workers trapped inside the Silkyara tunnel in Uttarkashi continued on the 12th day on Thursday.

According to officials, the workers are expected to be pulled out from the collapsed tunnel today.

The workers have been trapped since November 12, when the under-construction tunnel from Silkyara to Barkot got blocked due to debris falling in a 60-meter stretch on the Silkyara side.

The operation to rescue 41 workers trapped inside a Uttarakhand tunnel for the past 12 days is in its critical phase.

As of midnight, rescue teams had said that about 10 metres of debris separated them from the trapped workers.

According to rescue teams, the operation involved drilling through the debris to push wide pipes for the trapped workers to walk out through.

The auger machine, which drills through about 3 metres of debris in an hour, had earlier hit a metal obstruction.

A 41-bed hospital readied at the Community Health Centre in Chinyalisaur for medical examination and care of trapped workers after they are evacuated from the Silkyara tunnel in Uttarkashi.

Rescue workers said the workers would go through a detailed medical examination once they reached the hospital. (with inputs from ANI)

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