(MENAFN- Live Mint) "New Delhi: Rescue operations in Uttarkashi have reached the final stage, with the last two meters of pipes being pushed to rescue the 41 trapped workers to Syed Ata Hasnain, a member of the National Disaster Management Authority, manual drilling of the collapsed portion of the tunnel, which began on Monday, is underway in the last two meters, following which an 800-mm pipe will be pushed further and stabilized on the other end before the rescue of workers can begin said that the rescue operation, now in its seventeenth day, would reach the breakthrough stage soon but did not specify how long it would take to fix the pipes through the tunnel that would be used to pull out trapped workers. Three NDRF teams are on standby to begin the final rescue operation, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has ordered a technical audit of all under-construction tunnels to assess their structural strength and potential geological challenges. According to Vishal Chauhan, member NHAI, the highway developer has also asked independence agencies such as DMRC and Konkan Railways to study the situation and prepare guidelines for tunnelling work to prevent disasters like the one at Uttarkashi workers after the rescuer are expected to be put under medical supervision for 48 to 72 hours, Hasnain said has also undertaken the construction of a rescue tunnel from the Barkot end, in addition to horizontal and vertical drilling. Several blasts have already been completed, resulting in a 12-meter drift, and three blasts per day are planned RVNL is transporting machinery for micro-tunneling through horizontal drilling to rescue the laborers, vertical drilling (24 inches diametre) toward Barkot end is being planned by ONGC. This procedure is on standby as of now government agencies have been employed to look at all options to reach and rescue trapped workers in the tunnel. These include National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (NHIDCL), Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam (SJVNL), Tehri Hydro Development Corporation Limited (THDC) and Rail Vikas Nigam Limited (RVNL) have been assigned one option each from these, Army, Air Force, BRO, NDRF and SDRF are also supporting rescue operations.
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