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Workers trapped in collapsed tunnel close to being rescued

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

Bilaspur (Himachal Pradesh): Two workers struck in a collapsed tunnel for over 180 hours in Himachal Pradesh are close to being evacuated by resuers, officials said on Sunday.

Photo credit: indianexpress.com
Photo credit: indianexpress.com

The evacuation is likely to be completed by Sunday evening.

“We are awaiting the completion of the shaft. Once it’s done, our men will reach the spot 42 metres beneath the ground to rescue the workers,” Jaideep Singh, commanding officer of the National Disaster Response Force, told IANS.

He said a 42-metre deep vertical shaft had been dug.

“Just one metre of digging is left. Once it’s over, we will be in a position to reach the tunnel roof,” he said.

“If conditions remain favourable, we are hopeful of evacuating the two workers and to trace the third one by today evening,” a beaming Singh said.

An official involved in the digging operation said making a passage through the well-designed reinforced concrete structure, that too with a web of 32 mm rods, would be a Herculean task.

Bilaspur Deputy Commissioner Manasi Sahay Thakur said they were in regular touch with the two trapped workers – Mani Ram and Tomar – through a microphone linked with a webcam.

However, the whereabouts of the third worker, Hirdya Ram, are not known.

Of the 1.2-km proposed tunnel of the Kiratpur-Manali expressway road project, 275 metres was excavated till disaster struck on September 12, an official source said.

The contract for tunnel laying, involving an outlay of Rs.82 crore, has been assigned to the Chandigarh-based Himalayan Construction Co, whose workers, belonging to the hill state, are trapped.

With inputs from IANS

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Concerned Over The Rise of Drug Usage In The State: Himachal Governor

A three-day horse trade-cum-exhibition was organised before the beginning of the Lavi Fair.

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There are countless mothers who have been constantly tormented by drug-dependent adolescent children. Pixabay

Himachal Pradesh Governor Acharya Devvrat on Sunday expressed concern over the rise in drug addiction, particularly among the youth in the state, and called for concerted efforts to tackle the menace.

“Effective steps have been taken by the government and police administration, but we all need to work together in this direction,” he said at the inauguration of the centuries-old Lavi Fair in Rampur town, which was once a centre of barter trade with Tibet.

He called upon the people to promote natural farming. The state government has made a provision of Rs 25 crore to promote natural or organic farming to produce chemical-free food.

The 400-year-old Lavi Fair has undergone a sea change with the rural folk’s changing lifestyles and aspirations, resulting in a greater sale of gadgets and automobiles than traditional items such as farm implements, livestock and dry fruits.

Himachal
‘The traders from across the border have stopped coming’ Pixabay

The fair dates back to the time when Raja Kehari Singh of Rampur Bushahr state signed a treaty to promote trade with Tibet.

Rampur, 120 kilometres from state capital Shimla, was once a major trade centre as it is located on the old silk route connecting Afghanistan, Tibet and Ladakh in Jammu and Kashmir.

“People have stopped buying farm implements, horses and sheep. Now, they prefer to shop luxury goods like television sets and automobiles,” trader Ishwar Goyal told IANS.

Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur will preside over the concluding session of the fair on November 14.

Another trader Deepak Negi said Rampur was a centre of trade before the 1962 India-China war.

The traders from Tibet used to bring raw wool, butter, herbs and leather products and bartered them for wheat, rice, farm implements and livestock.

himachal
Rampur, 120 kilometres from state capital Shimla, was once a major trade centre as it is located on the old silk route connecting Afghanistan. Pixabay

“Now, the traders from across the border have stopped coming. Indian multinational companies come here to sell their products. The fair has largely lost its relevance,” he added.

A three-day horse trade-cum-exhibition was organised before the beginning of the Lavi Fair. The main attraction during the exhibition were the Chamurthi horses – an endangered species known as the ‘Ship Of the Cold Desert’. Being a surefooted animal, it is mainly used for transporting goods in the Himalayas.

Also Read: Quitting Junk Food May Cause You to Suffer Withdrawal Symptoms Similar to Drug Addition

The Chamurthi horse traces its origin to the Tibet region. In India, it’s bred in the villages of Himachal Pradesh bordering China.

The fair sees several folk artistes from Punjab and Himachal Pradesh perform. (IANS)