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Bilaspur Tunnel Collapse: Rescued workers recall their survival story

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Himachal Tunnel Collapse

BILASPUR – Trapped in a 45 metre deep and nearly 100 metre long under construction tunnel, Satish Tomar and Mani Ram, who were pulled out from tunnel on Monday after 9 day long rescue, chewed soil and pieces of paper with water on the third day when they had lost hope about their survival.

“I used my mobile phone torch to survey the surroundings on first day when we were trapped after  a landslide blocked the tunnel. We noticed cardboards ,pieces of paper,soil and  a water pipe around us. We gathered everything and broke water pipe.Unfortunately breaking the pipe filled the surroundinds with water and we were compelled to climb on a machine which was parked close by,” Satish To ar who hails from Sirmour district said.

For first two days they just drank water and on third day They mixed soil with pieces of paper and gulped down with water.

“We gathered courage as this was a matter of survival.I prayed to the God and chewed soil and paper.We slept after eating this.But the nighmares scared me .I started missing family and friends and was emotional.However ,Satish consoled me and even entertained me with his jokes,” Mani Ram,who hails from Mandi district said.

Bilaspur Tunnel Collapse

The rescued labourers said the activities like hammering,drilling sounds sprouted their hopes.They were overjoyed on fourth day when the saw a pin hole and witnessed natural light after four days.

“Fear of dying an unnatural death vanished when a small bulb reached 45 metre deep.We also heared a lady voice who was Deputy Commissioner mam.She consoled us and assured that we will be saved.Later eatabkes were also sent using a four inch pipe.They also sent a mobile phone loadedwith music.However the music was religious and I joked and said send something else as I am not old,” Satish Tomar said.

Though both the labourers appeared hale and hearty on Monday But  Mani Ram slipped into an emotional setback on next day.Satish who appeared a chatterbox on Monday started coughing -up. However ,the doctors said all this was a temporary side effect and the vital parametres of both the rescued workers were found ok.

Meanwhile, sharing their experiences about their 9 day ordeal in a dinghy,dark and stinking tunnel, Satish Tomar said despite the horrible 9 days and similar nights, he has a positive outlook about life and will not leave his present job.

“Working here is a fate and we will continue to work as usual.Disasters can strike anytime and anywhere. We are grateful to the God that we were finally rescued,” says Satish Tomar who earns over Rs 12000 as labourer.

Ashok Kumar Samota

NDRF jawan Ashok Kumar Samotia (25) Who finally evacuated two of the three trapped workers /Image Credit: Indian Express

The real heroes of this operation are NDRF sub inspector Naresh Pal  who had on Monday morning first time entered the tunnel and constable Ashok Kumar Samota actually rescued both Satish Tomar and Mani Ram.

“I can’t tell you how many times Satish Tomar and Mani Ram embraced me for saving their lives.The tunnel was filled with waist-deep water and both the workers were standing at one corner of the tunnel. There was no sign of the third. I searched for him all over, but did not find him. The water was rising and some more portion of the tunnel collapsed,” said Samotia, who hails from Sikar in Rajasthan.

“Today, it is Diwali in our village. My family, parents and grandmother, are dancing over the news of my brother Satish’s rescue. It’s a rebirth for him,” said Vinod Tomar, an engineer, who had reached the rescue site on Sunday.

“All of us have been watching every scene on TV channels. There were moments of despair for everyone. But I am thankful to God and happy that Satish was brave and kept his hopes alive,” he added.

Vinod said officials told him that his brother stayed strong even under extreme pressure. “Sometimes, he recited poetry. He once asked the rescue team to arrange a shaving kit for him. ‘My beard has grown, I need to get a shave and look like a human being’, he told them,” said Vinod.

Meanwhile, the district administration on Tuesday said the rescued labourers will be under a medical observation till they physically and mentally return to normalcy.The construction company has compensated both with Rs one lac each.The state government has yet to announce its help to the poir labourers.
Image Credits : Indian Express

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Himachal: 53 Succumb to Severe Covid Symptoms in 24 Hours, Spike in Fatality Rate Among Patients With No Comorbidities

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Shimla-On Monday, Himachal reported 4,359 new cases of coronavirus while 53 people succumbed to severe symptoms of infection. This took the state death toll to 1,925 and the total number of infections to 1,35,782 till now according to official data.

 Kangra district continues to report the highest numbers of daily deaths due to coronavirus. In the last 24 hours, the district reported 18 deaths. While the Solan district reported the second-highest casualties with eight deaths in the last 24-hours. The youngest patient to succumb to coronavirus was a 24-year-old man from the Solan district. The man died of sudden cardiopulmonary arrest with severe SARS COVID 19 Pneumonia according to official data. No other comorbidity was cited in the report.

About 16 of the deceased persons were aged below 50 years. According to the official statistics, at least 45 (84%) of the deceased had no comorbidities.

View the District-wise Details of all COVID-19 Cases for May 10, 2021 (Till 7 pm) Below:

dailly covid case himachal

Source: HP NHM

Meanwhile, in its recent press statement, a state government spokesperson said that the positivity rate of Covid-19 across the state has come out to be 26.3% in the last week. Districts of Kangra, Bilaspur, Hamirpur, Shimla, Mandi, Solan, and Sirmour have recorded a positivity rate of more than 20 percent from May 3 to May 9. 

In the last 24-hours, a total of 10,746 Covid testings was done across the state out of which 1,180 remains awaited.

Till now the state has conducted 16,33,923 sampling across the state however, the daily testing rate continues to fluctuate and remains below 20,000 tests per day.

Further, according to the government, by May 10, a total of 16,59,619 people had received the vaccine, out of which 38,0791 people had received both doses. Meanwhile, the state has gone under stricter corona curfew with restrictions imposed on interstate travelling as well.

View the District-wise Details of all COVID-19 Deaths for May 10, 2021 (Till 7 pm) Below:

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Himachal Achieved Highest Full Immunisation Coverage & Zero Vaccine Wastage, Claims HP NHM

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COVID-19 Vaccination in Himachal Pradesh

Shimla-The Government of Himachal Pradesh on Sunday claimed that the state has been able to achieve zero vaccine wastage during the COVID Vaccination programme that started on Jan 16, 2021 The vaccine wastage is -1.4% whereas, for some other states, it has been even more than 10%, the government claimed.

Dr. Nipun Jindal, Director, National Health Mission, said that the state received a total stock of 2119710, out of which a total of 1986812 doses were administered till 7h May 2020. The stock available at Cold Chain points after utilisation as per eVIN(Electronic Vaccine Intelligence Network) was 160730.  Hence, the number of net utilised doses was 1958980, he claimed.   

He informed that the vaccine is being administered through an AD (Auto Disabled) syringe.

Dr. Jindal claimed that according to NFHS-5 data, Himachal Pradesh has the highest Full Immunisation Coverage among all States in the entire country. Himachal Pradesh has sustained its routine Immunisation activities during the COVID pandemic as well.

Further, he informed that there are basically three reasons that lead to wastage. Transportation-related vaccine wastage occurs when vials and syringes get damaged in transit. Storage-related vaccine wastage happens when doses need to be thrown out because they could have developed possible defects as a result of improper temperature or humidity conditions. A vial not being used with maximum efficiency leads to wastage at the Vaccination Centre. A vial once opened also needs to be used up within a certain time limit. If the doses from the vial are not administered in time, they have to be thrown away.

Dr Jindal also informed that the vial generally contains more doses than mentioned and the state ensured to use the extra doses. He added that the Vaccinators were trained for loading and administering the doses as per the guidelines by the Health Department to ensure minimal wastage of the vaccine.  

“To minimise the vaccine wastage, the facilitated Cohort Mobilisation was done by the Health Workers, ASHAs and AWWs to maintain a staggered and continuous movement to the COVID vaccination Centre in Himachal Pradesh,” Dr. Jindal said.

He also informed that Govt. of India allocates vaccines to States/UTs based on the criteria of performance, the extent of infections and wastage of vaccines. Based on the above criteria, the State would be able to secure more vaccines from the central Government for the prioritized groups

Dr. Jindal also informed that 50 portable ventilators have been received from Switzerland and 150 oxygen concentrators from China in the form of international aid. He also informed that the State has also made the PSA Oxygen plant at Dr. RKGMC Hamirpur functional which is of 300 LPM capacity.

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Himachal Pradesh: Read Curfew Relaxation Timings in All Districts

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Himachal pradesh Curfew relaxation timings

Shimla-New curfew rules came into effect from Monday. The District Administrations have issued notifications regarding rules in their respective districts and timings of the opening of shops. Only shops dealing with pubic ration, daily needs and essential commodities like food grains, groceries, fruits, vegetables, dairy products, meat and fish, animal feed, fodder, seeds, fertilizers and pesticides, optical shops and motor mechanics shops would be allowed to open for only three hours. The people and shopkeepers would have to adhere to Covid SoPs, the notifications said.

However, the new curfew rules in Himachal would not apply to pharmaceutical and medical stores that can operate as per usual timings. The government has also allowed construction in government and private sectors, but

Further, movement of all public stage and contract carriage is restricted except for essential services. The public transport would remain completely closed and private vehicles would only be allowed for medical and other emergencies, vaccination, testing and treatment of Covid-19, performance or delivery of essential, medical and public services.

Restaurants and dhabas along the national highways have been allowed to operate as per usual timing. However, dhaba/restaurant owners say it doesn’t make much difference as private and public transport is restricted and most decided to remain closed.

Further, industries in Baddi-Barotiwala-Nalagarh (BBN), Parwanoo, and Chambaghat would remain open. The workers would have to carry identity card that mentions their timings of their shifts. 

Timings for Opening of Shops in Himachal Pradesh

Kangra 8 am-11 am
Shimla 10 am -1 pm
Mandi 10 am -1 pm
Hamirpur 8 am-11 am
Solan 8 am-11 am
Bilaspur 8 am-11 am
Kullu 10 am -1 pm
Chamba 10 am -1 pm
Kinnaur 9 am – 12 pm
Una 8 am-11 am
Lahaul-Spiti 11 am- 2 pm
Sirmaur 8 am – 11am
   

 

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