An auger machine that restarted horizontal drilling on Tuesday can clear the stretch in two to two-and-half days, Jainsaid.But if it hits any hard rock or other obstacles, it would take longer. In contrast, getting into the accident site through a side drift could take 15 days, Jain said. “We are working on all options simultaneously instead of waiting for one option to click,”NDMA said.
After the Silkyara tunnel mishap, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) will conduct a safety audit of all its 29 under construction tunnels across the country.
Officials said NHAI chairman Santosh Yadav has instructed officials to undertake this exercise quickly by involving the regional officers, project directors and independent consultants.
The total length of tunnels being constructed by NHAI currently is 79 km. Himachal Pradesh accounts for the maximum 12 tunnels, followed by six in Jammu and Kashmir. Earlier, there were instances of cave-in at the site of under construction tunnels in J&K.
Sources said in the second phase, the highways authority will carry out safety audit of all completed tunnels as well.
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In response to whether the government needs to relook at the plan and scale of tunnel construction, mainly in hilly states road transport & highways secretary Anurag Jain said SOPs are in place. He said if need arises, the government will take a look it.