November 26, 2023

Uttarakhand: CITU-Led Delegation Visits Collapsed Tunnel Site

A DELEGATION of the Uttarakhand state committee of the Centre for Indian Trade Unions (CITU) led by Rajendra Singh Negi visited the site of the unfortunate accident at the under-construction Yamunotri National Highway Tunnel located at Silkyara in district Uttarkashi where 41 workers have been stranded for the past seven days.

The delegation expressed its outrage at the delay in rescue work and demanded that FIRs be registered against the principal employer of the NHAI and the company under contract responsible for the construction of the tunnel. They also put forth the demand that the workers stuck inside the tunnel be safely rescued without delay. They also demanded that a high level enquiry be conducted as to why the hume pipe required for safety during tunnel construction was arbitrarily removed. The delegation consisted of peasant leader Rajendra Purohit; state vice president of CITU, Bhagwant Payal; peasant leader Jayendra Chauhan; Nagendra Bisht and Pradeep Jaguri of the Gajya Ing Workers Union, and other working class leaders.

When the administration came to know about the presence of CITU delegation in Silkyara, the police shamefully tried every tactic to prevent them from reaching the site of accident. The move was stridently resisted. The sensible approach taken by SHO Barkot finally allowed the delegation to enter. At last, the delegation was also able to have a dialogue with the district administration and the company management. The delegation stated that the workers are not being allowed to speak to the media or anyone outside and confined against their will. No one is being allowed to photograph the site. When the delegation opposed the move, it was finally allowed to take photographs and talk to the press.