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Silkyara: Namakkal team brings fame to TN

“But all our struggles didn’t go in vain and our joy knew no bounds when finally, the workers were rescued. While our men returned, machinery is yet to be back”

Silkyara: Namakkal team brings fame to TN

Members of Namakkal firm involved in the rescue ops

COIMBATORE: As the nation celebrates the meticulous rescue of 41 workers trapped in the Silkyara tunnel in Uttarkashi, a team with expertise in drilling operations from Tiruchengode in Namakkal has brought fame to Tamil Nadu, playing a pivotal role in the daunting operation.

Filled with a sense of pride and contentment, the 12-member team from Dharani Geotech Engineers India Pvt Ltd from Namakkal discloses that a breakthrough came through when they drilled and pushed a six-inch pipe into the debris by cement concrete- based drilling technology. This method proved effective as the pipe stays in the hole of rocky debris, even after the driller is taken out.

“Soon after the tunnel collapsed on November 12, the construction firm involved reached out to us seeking assistance. We were chosen based on our expertise in drilling operations in the Himalayan mountains. Our team rushed the very next day, with the hydraulic drilling machine brought from our nearby ongoing worksite in Sarangpur, Uttar Pradesh. But our drilling technology was pressed into service only on November 16 after the auger machines failed,” said Jayavel Kaliyannan, managing director of the company.

“A glimmer of hope was born when a camera was sent through the pipe and communication was restored with workers. It was through this pipeline the trapped workers were supplied with oxygen, food, medicine and other essentials, said Jayavel Kaliyannan.

According to Jayavel, the breakthrough came after the Namakkal team drilled through 54 metres on November 19, within 3 days after commencing operation, pushing in the six-inch pipeline.

“Until the final day, our team handled the smooth delivery of food and essentials through the pipeline to the trapped workers as it involved meticulous planning to prevent any obstruction of the passageway,” added Jayavel.

Even during the process of tunnelling, the team met with multiple setbacks forcing it to suspend operations. “But all our struggles didn’t go in vain and our joy knew no bounds when finally, the workers were rescued. While our men returned, machinery is yet to be back,” he said.

On Friday, officials of the National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation Ltd (NHDCL), a nodal agency of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, spoke to Jayavel over the phone thanking the firm. “A certificate of recognition is likely to be given soon for our firm,” said Jayavel, who is also a graduate in geo-tech engineering.

Another feather in Tamil Nadu’s proverbial cap is that the rigging machine was manufactured by PRD Rigs India, also a firm from Tiruchengode in Namakkal.

V Ashok Kumar
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