1 Dec 2023

Kejriwal to meet rat-hole mining experts from Delhi

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal is scheduled to meet with the rat-hole mining experts from Delhi who played a crucial role in the rescue operation of 41 workers trapped in the Silkyara tunnel. The workers became stranded in the Uttarakhand tunnel following a collapse, and after a 17-day multi-agency effort, they were successfully rescued on Tuesday.

The 12-member team of rat-hole mining experts was specifically summoned to perform drilling tasks when an American auger machine faced obstacles while clearing the rubble in the collapsed tunnel. Some of these experts are known to be engaged in activities related to laying sewer lines and pipelines for the Delhi Jal Board, as per officials.

An official stated that Kejriwal is expected to meet with the experts later in the day. Rat-hole mining is a method involving the excavation of narrow tunnels, typically 3-4 feet high, allowing workers to enter and extract coal. The horizontal tunnels are often referred to as "rat holes" due to their size, accommodating only one person each. 

In the case of the Silkyara tunnel, the 12 experts were enlisted by Trenchless Engineering Services Pvt Ltd and Navayuga Engineers Pvt Ltd to apply the rat-hole mining technique horizontally in the section that had collapsed within the main structure.

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