The fresh five-point rescue plan for the 41 men trapped in a tunnel in Uttarakhand is focussing on the horizontal drilling that will create a shaft, Lt Gen Syed Ata Hasnain, a member of NDMA (National Disaster Management Authority), told NDTV in an exclusive interview. He, however, refused to set a time frame for the rescue.
“This is not an easy challenge, so we are exploring every option. All the teams are working on it, that is the only assurance I can give. Can’t establish the timeframe,” he said.
But this, he said, will not pose a danger to the men, who have been trapped in the tunnel following a landslide on November 12.
“There is sufficient water and oxygen inside. Power and ration were made available,” he said.
“There’s ample space inside. There is approximately 2 km space. Lighting is available inside. A 4- inch pipe was available which didn’t get destroyed so we had a lifeline,” he told NDTV. Through this pipe, survival ration was pushed through air compression. Efforts have been to push medicine, he said.
To ensure the workers’ emotional well-being, the families of a few workers have been brought in also.
“The families have been accommodated in the hotels in a built-up area. In one or two cases, they were even able to talk through it… the more the families talk to them, better will be the morale,” he said.