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Three trapped for two days in Himachal tunnel

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source: ANI news
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source: ANI news
source: ANI news

By Newsgram Staff Writer

Shimla: Rescue workers failed to reach the three labourers trapped since Saturday in an under-construction tunnel in the town of Bilaspur in Himachal Pradesh, officials said.

The Border Roads Organisation, which operates under the defence ministry that has been involved in the construction of the Rohtang tunnel, was deployed for the rescue operation.

“The continuous rolling down of debris from the hilltop is hampering the rescue operation,” National Highways Authority of India project director Satish Kaul told reporters.

“We are trying to insert a pipe into the debris so that the struck workers could be safely evacuated,” Kaul said.

Rescue workers are hopeful that the trapped workers are alive as machines have been deployed to pump oxygen into the tunnel.

The tunnel, which is part of the under-construction four-laning of the Kiratpur-Manali national highway, is located at Tihra, 13 km from district headquarters Bilaspur and 100 km from the state capital.

Workers involved in the construction work blamed the Himalayan Construction Company for lack of safety measures. All the trapped workers belonged to the hill state.

“For the past few days, huge cracks and fissures surfaced in a rock inside the tunnel. The company had been ignoring it and it is due to its negligence that the accident occurred,” one of the survivors told police.

The cave-in took place around 8.30 pm on Saturday when the night shift workers were coming to work. The first shift was over at 8 pm, said officials.

(With inputs from IANS)

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Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to Fund Himachal For Biodiversity Conservation

Himachal Pradesh will manage and improve its forest ecosystems under a Rs 800-crore project funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), official sources said on Sunday.

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Japan
The 10-year project on 'Improvement of Himachal Pradesh Forest Ecosystems Management and Livelihoods', which began this fiscal, will be implemented in 61 ranges. Wikimedia Commons

Himachal Pradesh will manage and improve its forest ecosystems under a Rs 800-crore project funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), official sources said on Sunday.

JICA-India official Katsuo Matsumoto will visit the state capital on Monday for the launch workshop of the project, where Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur will also be present.

The 10-year project on ‘Improvement of Himachal Pradesh Forest Ecosystems Management and Livelihoods’, which began this fiscal, will be implemented in 61 ranges in seven forest circles in Kinnaur, Shimla, Bilaspur, Mandi, Kullu and Lahaul-Spiti districts, an official spokesperson told IANS.

He said a loan agreement for the project was signed in Tokyo, Japan, on March 29 in the presence of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.

Japan
JICA headquarters, Osaka,Japan. Wikimedia Commons

The project provides for 80 per cent loan and the remaining amount will be state equity. Of the loan component, 90 per cent will be a grant from the Centre.

Also Read-Conserving Pandas can Enrich Biodiversity along with Fighting Climate Changes: Study

The project aims at sustainable management of forest ecosystems, biodiversity conservation, livelihood improvement support and strengthening institutional capacity.

The JICA is already providing a Rs 321 crore assistance to the state under a crop diversification project since 2011 for bettering the socio economic condition of farmers in Mandi, Kangra, Hamirpur, Bilaspur and Una districts. (IANS)

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