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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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Visit Himachal Pradesh to Bask in the Warmth of Mellow Sunshine!

Chandigarh's meteorological department said dense to very dense fog would likely to continue at a few places in Punjab and Haryana till Wednesday

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Tirthan Valley in Himachal Pradesh is one of the lesser known travel destinations in india. Wikimedia Commons
Tirthan Valley in Himachal Pradesh is one of the lesser known trekking destinations in India. Wikimedia Commons

The weather is ‘cosy’ these days in hills of Himachal Pradesh compared to the Northern plains where dense fog is screening out the sun.

The hilly state is receiving regular sunshines and for a longer duration.

The weather in picturesque tourist resorts of Shimla, Kufri, Narkanda, Kasauli, Chail, Dharamsala, Palampur and Manali is ‘warm’ and perfect for a break from the biting chill of the plains where the sun has largely been fogged out.

“What a mellow sunshine is in Shimla,” remarked Kriti Aggarwal, a tourist from Delhi.

She said it was a great relief from the prevailing fog that did not allow sun rays to penetrate over ground levels.

Her friend Kanika Gupta added: “For hours, we relaxing and basking under the sun. Even nights are cosy here compared to the plains.”

Manmohan Singh, director of Shimla’s meteorological department, told IANS on Monday that most of the hill destinations have a pleasant weather owing to long sunny days compared to the plains.

“The maximum temperature in the hills is two-three degrees below average but due to prevailing sunny days the temperature will see rise and will be normal in a day or two,” he said.

According to him, dry weather would largely prevail in the state till December 31, ruling out the possibility of snow and rain across the state.

Himachal, the most wanted place to visit for New Year
Himachal, the most wanted place to visit for New Year. Wikimedia Commons

The humidity level over 80 per cent causes fog. In the the hills it’s around 50 per cent currently, compared to 80 per cent in the hills.

In Shimla, located around 7,000 feet above sea level, the maximum temperature on Sunday was 13.8 degrees Celsius, while the minimum was 3.6 degrees on Monday.

The night temperature in Dharamsala was 2.6 degrees Celsius, whereas popular tourist resort Manali saw a low of minus three degrees.

At 14.3 degrees below freezing point, Keylong in Lahaul-Spiti district was the coldest in the state. Kalpa, some 250 km from the state capital, saw a low of minus 2.9 degrees Celsius.

In Chandigarh, the maximum temperature was 0.6 degree Celsius less than Shimla’s on Sunday, with the minimum hovering around 9 degrees Celsius.

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The Met office in Chandigarh predicted foggy conditions to continue in the city till Wednesday.

The prevailing maximum temperature in Chandigarh is six to seven degrees below season’s average due cloudy and shallow fog.

Chandigarh’s meteorological department said dense to very dense fog would likely to continue at a few places in Punjab and Haryana till Wednesday. (IANS)