New Delhi: The Government on Friday said it will revamp the standard operating procedures (SOPs) for tunnel construction after an expert panel found many shortcomings in the under-construction Silkyara tunnel, which collapsed in November last year, leaving 41 workers stranded for more than two weeks.
At a press briefing, Road Transport and Highways Secretary Anurag Jain said the Silkyara tunnel project in Uttarkashi is still workable, and the government will not abandon it.
An experts' panel to investigate the collapse of a portion of the under-construction Silkyara tunnel has pointed out many shortcomings in the project, he added.
"Silkyara tunnel collapse se humne kaafi kuch seekha hai (We have learnt a lot from the collapse of the under-construction Silkyara tunnel)," he said.
A total of 41 workers were trapped after a portion of the under-construction tunnel collapsed on November 12 and the workers were rescued on November 28.
The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH), on December 6, constituted a five-member committee to investigate the collapse of the tunnel.
"The committee has suggested some changes in standard operating procedures (SOPs) of tunnel construction. Based on the committee's suggestion, we will change SOPs for tunnel construction to prevent the occurrence of Silkayara-like mishaps in the future," he added.
The National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation Ltd (NHIDCL) is constructing the Silkyara-Barkot tunnel through Hyderabad-based Navayuga Engineering Company Ltd.
The tunnel is a single-tube tunnel divided into two inter-connected corridors by a partition wall. Each inter-connector corridor can work as an escape passage for the other.
The 4.5 kilometre-long tunnel project in Uttarakhand, which is part of the centre's 900 kilometre-Char Dham Yatra all-weather road, aims to improve connectivity to the four pilgrimage sites.