Portion of another tunnel caves in, no injuries

Jaswinder Singh Baidwan

Akhran da mureed
Staff member
In yet another tunnel mishap, a portion of an under-construction tunnel today caved in near Gamou village under Sundernagar subdivision in the district, nearly 45km from the district headquarters.
The 740-m tunnel, which was being constructed at Bhawana village, was part of the Kiratpur-Nerchowk four-lane project. Fortunately, no one was inside the tunnel at the time of the mishap.
A worker said the construction work at the tunnel was stopped on September 10 after the blower of the tunnel had developed some technical snag. Had the blower been working, workers would have working in the tunnel.
The Bhawana tunnel number 5 is nearly 10 km away from the Tihra in Bilaspur district where three workers were trapped when a portion of the under-construction tunnel of the Kiratpur-Nerchowk four-lane project caved in on September 11. Two of the three workers were rescued after nine days, while the third worker was still stuck under the debris in the tunnel.
The tunnel was being constructed by IL&FS company, the same firm which was engaged in the construction work of the Tihra tunnel.
An engineer at the site said nearly 12-m portion of the tunnel caved in around 4 am. He said the construction work on nearly 570-m of the tunnel had been completed while the digging work on the remaining portion was yet to start. The strata might have come down due to loose rocks and seepage, he added.
Meanwhile, several villages in the close range of the tunnel had developed cracks due to blasting in the tunnel. Rajkumar, a resident of Gamou village, said houses in four villages had developed cracks due to blasting.
Sundernagar SDM Rajiv Kumar said a portion of the tunnel had sunk and the area around the caved in portion had been cordoned off. No one was allowed to go near it. He said police personnel and security guards of the company had been posted there. The houses of Basant Ram, Krishan Ram and Reshma Devi had developed cracks. They had been asked to vacate these. The families would be accommodated in the guest house of the company at Bhawana.
On the complaint of cracks in other houses, he said a team of PWD officials had conducted a survey of the houses and the report had been submitted to the company for compensation.
Meanwhile, Chief Parliamentary Secretary and Sunderngar MLA Sohan Lal Thakur visited the spot at Gamohu village.
The CPS ordered to shift the affected families to safer place.
On September 4 this year, Dinesh Thapa, a resident of Nepal, was seriously injured as a rock fell on him and died later on.
The police registered a case under section 304 A of Indian Penal Code and the District administration had already issued instruction to the contractor to comply with the safety norms
As a part of four-lane project, the tunnel was being constructed between Bhawana and Dehvi.