In a tragic incident, an under construction tunnel in Himachal Pradesh's Kullu district collapsed trapping an killing four laborers while one was left injured. A report by SURFACES REPORTER (SR).
The tunnel, being constructed by the National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC) near Pancha Nala in Garsa valley of Kullu collapsed around 5:40 pm, according to the eyewitnesses. At that time, labourers were drilling in the 600 m long diversion tunnel as a part of the hydroelectric project.
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NHPC Limited is an Indian government hydropower board under the ownership of the union Ministry of Power. It is building many hydroelectric projects in Kullu district. While some projects have been commissioned, work on others is still going on.
According to the police personnel, the rescue operation started immediately where tones of debris were removed when four bodies were found buried in the debris. The injured was immediately rushed to a hospital in Kullu.
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Tunnel collapse, not a new phenomenon
Unfortunately, the current accident is not the maiden one as in recent years, India is witnessing a surge in such collapses putting the life of people working at these sites in jeopardy. While a part of it can be blamed on the rough weather conditions in the hilly areas but lack of safety precautions during the construction is a bigger devil.
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In February this year, after a glacier burst in the Himalayan region, more than 170 people went missing with many dead and a dozens were trapped inside the tunnel after a devastating flash flood near Tapovan in Uttarakhand's Chamoli district. The current accident has happened in the Garsa Valley which is already notorious for its fragile land and environment. Due to the frequent cloudbursts and flashfloods, the area is prone to such accidents.
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