Uttarkashi Tunnel Operation: From Lt Gen (Retd) Hasnain To International Expert Arnold Dix; Meet The Team Behind The Daring Rescue

Uttarkashi Tunnel Operation: From Lt Gen (Retd) Hasnain To International Expert Arnold Dix; Meet The Team Behind The Daring Rescue

According to the authorities, the rescue operation entered final stages and the rat-hole mining experts had reached the 58-metre point, with about two more metres remaining to go.

Vishakha SonawaneUpdated: Tuesday, November 28, 2023, 08:34 PM IST
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From left to right - Lt Gen (Retd) Syed Ata Hasnain, micro-tunnelling expert Chris Cooper, IAS officer Neeraj Khairwal and international tunneling expert Arnold Dix | Agencies

As Indians await with bated breath the 41 workers to walk free out of the Silkyara tunnel in Uttarakhand's Uttarkashi, where they have been trapped for 17 days, all eyes are on the rescue team's operation. According to the authorities, the rescue operation entered the final stages and the rat-hole mining experts had reached the 58-metre point, with about two more metres remaining to go.

As the rescue operation continues, officials have expanded medical facility for the trapped workers. A team of doctors has been deployed and the health department arranged eight beds. Meanwhile, the families of the trapped workers and Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami reached the spot to welcome them.

Who are the men behind the rescue efforts?

Lt Gen (Retd) Syed Ata Hasnain

A member of the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), Lt Gen (Retd) Syed Ata Hasnain is has been supervising the NDMA's role in the rescue operation. He has been a former member of the GOC 15 corps of the Indian Army in Srinagar. On July 13, 2018, the then president Ram Nath Kovid appointed Lt Gen Hasnain as chancellor of the Central University of Kashmir.

Micro-tunnelling expert Chris Cooper

Melbourne-based chartered engineer Chris Coopers, who joined the Uttarkashi tunnel rescue efforts on November 19, is a micro-tunnelling specialist. Throughout his decades-long experience, he has worked on projects such as metro tunnels, large caverns, dams, railways and mining. Cooper is also the international consultant for the Rishikesh Karnprayag rail project.

IAS officer Neeraj Khairwal

On November 18, CM Dhami appointed senior IAS officer Neeraj Khairwal as the nodal officer to facilitate co-ordination with several central institutions operating within the state. For the last 10 days, he has been supervising and commanding the rescue efforts, and updating the chief minister's office and the prime minister's office about the operation. He also serves as a secretary in the Uttarakhand government.

International tunneling expert Arnold Dix

Hailing from Australia, Arnold Dix, is the president of the International Tunneling and Underground Space Association. He was called on to joined the tunnel rescue effort on November 20. According to his website, he is a barrister, scientist and professor of engineering. He is an expert in the field of underground and transportation infrastructure, and his expertise spans from assessing construction risks to addressing technical issues related to operational safety performance.

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