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  Opinion   Edit  19 Nov 2023  AA Edit | Tunnel rescue: Get aid from all

AA Edit | Tunnel rescue: Get aid from all

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : Nov 20, 2023, 12:05 am IST
Updated : Nov 20, 2023, 12:05 am IST

Over eight days, local authorities have put to use all the tools and technologies available with them to no effect.

Preparations for vertical drilling underway as rescue work continues after collapse of a portion of the under construction tunnel between Silkyara and Dandalgaon on the Brahmakhal-Yamunotri national highway, in Uttarkashi district, Sunday, Nov. 19 , 2023. (PTI Photo)
 Preparations for vertical drilling underway as rescue work continues after collapse of a portion of the under construction tunnel between Silkyara and Dandalgaon on the Brahmakhal-Yamunotri national highway, in Uttarkashi district, Sunday, Nov. 19 , 2023. (PTI Photo)

The repeated disruptions in the rescue operation aimed at saving the 41 workers trapped in the Silkyara-Polgaon tunnel in Uttarkashi which they were employed to build are disheartening. It reflects the utter irresponsibility and incompetence of a government that refuses to identify the problem, leave alone come up with smart solutions.

Over eight days, local authorities have put to use all the tools and technologies available with them to no effect. From reports, one may come to the understanding that the unpredictable terrain, inadequacy of equipment and inexperience of handling such a critical operation have all contributed to their failure.

It is a comment on the state of our collective conscience that the issue has not got the national attention that it should have by now. The threat to the lives of 41 people engaged in a nationally important project and during festival season should have agitated every Indian mind. That a team from nowhere but the Prime Minister’s Office itself took seven days to reach the accident site and only after multiple failures on the part of the local authorities at that tells its own sordid story. One need not look elsewhere to be certain that coordinated efforts at the national level to source the best that is available in the world, be it technology, tools or the knowhow, to handle such situations are lacking.  

Safety is a global talking point, and so is related technology. Accidents happen in different parts of the world involving different variants, hence no nation can have a monopoly over the expertise needed to meet all challenges. It is for the affected party to explore every avenue and every source so that no lives are lost.

It is time that the government worked in a reverse engineering mode in this respect instead of experimenting with whatever is at hand. It must imagine a scenario wherein the last of the worker has come out of the tunnel, and do whatever it takes to make it possible. That must be the national priority.

Tags: uttarakhand, rescue operation, silkyara tunnel