November 15, 2023 – A significant case of negligence has emerged in the construction of the Silkyara Tunnel in Uttarkashi. In a sensitive section of the tunnel where landslides occurred, instead of using garter ribs for support, steel ribs were applied.
People associated with the tunnel construction claim that if garter ribs had been used, the landslide might not have occurred. Last Sunday, a landslide incident occurred in the under-construction Silkyara Tunnel, trapping 40 workers inside.
A major lapse by the construction company has come to light. A machine operator in the tunnel revealed, on the condition of anonymity, that the carelessness of those associated with the company has put the lives of 40 individuals in jeopardy.
Perhaps, the incident could have been avoided. According to the machine operator, the area where the landslide occurred, about 200 meters inside the tunnel mouth, is sensitive. Instead of using garter ribs, 32mm steel ribs were applied. These ribs couldn’t withstand the pressure of the landslide.
Two sensitive points inside the tunnel are directly affected by landslides during construction. One point is about 200 meters from the Silkyara mouth, where a landslide has already occurred. Another point is located between 2000 to 2100 meters from the Silkyara mouth. A machine operator confirmed that permanent treatment has been carried out in the sensitive part between 2000 and 2100 meters, but not in the area near 200 meters.
Two machines are trapped due to the landslide in the debris on Sunday. A shotcrete machine and a boom machine were reported to be trapped during the treatment process. Fortunately, the workers managed to escape unhurt when the lightweight debris fell.