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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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Misc News/Press Release

108 ambulance skid-off road near IGMC Shimla, lands on 2 cars parked in ‘No Parking’ zone

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108 ambulance accident near IGMC Shimla

Shimla: Two men were injured as a 108 ambulance skid-off the Sanjauli-Lakkar Bazaar road near the Indira Gandhi Medical College today morning. The vehicle fell down on two cars parked on the roadside in a ‘No Parking’ zone.

108 ambulance accident near IGMC Shimla 4

The ambulance was carrying no patient at the time of the accident, and the injured included only the driver and an assistant.  Both sustained minor injuries.

The accident occurred at about 6:30 AM as the ambulance skid-off the road while the driver was reversing it. No casualties were reported and the driver and assistant escaped with minor injuries,

the Lakkar Bazaar Police Post incharge told Himachal Watcher.

108 ambulance accident near IGMC Shimla 2

The ambulance crushed one of the cars badly and damaged the other one. Fortunately, no person was present inside these cars and on the road when the accident took place.  Otherwise, the result could have proved to be fatal. 

It is one reason why not to park vehicles in No Parking zones of Shimla. 

 

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Rs 2572 crore for Himachal’s irrigation and drinking water schemes

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HP irrigation and drinking water schemes

Shimla: The State Government today said that it has earmarked an amount of Rs 2572 crore for providing irrigation and drinking water facilities in Himachal Pradesh during the current financial year.

The endeavour, the Government said, was to bring more area under irrigation facility so that farmers could go for crop diversification instead of traditional crops.

The Chief Minister, while addressing a public meeting at Kelodhar in Seraj assembly constituency of Mandi district, provided the information.It is Chief Minister’s first visit to Kelodhar after elections.

Further, it was announced that the Kandha-Bah-Batand road would be strengthened.

Earlier, the Chief Minister performed ‘bhumi pujan’ of Kandha-Bah-Batand road (Phase-II) to be constructed at a cost of Rs. 358.53 lakh.

He laid the foundation stones of IPH Office building and residence at Kelodhar to be constructed at a cost of Rs. 74.36 lakh and of Science Block building of Government Senior Secondary School Kelodhar on which about Rs 1.50 crore would be spent.

The Government announced Rs 15 lakh for Kelodhar Panchayat for various developmental works, Rs 10 lakh each for GP Bara, GP Saroha and GP Parwara. He also announced Rs 3 lakh for Mahila Mandal Kelodhar.

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British-era Bantony Castle Shimla to become Rs. 25 crore cultural centre     

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Bantony Castle Shimla Picture

CM said the building is also an example of beautiful anglo-gothic architecture. However, this fact appears to be incorrect as the Castle is built in the mock-Tudor style

Shimla: As a ray of hope for the Bantony Castle, Shimla, the Himachal Pradesh Government has announced Rs. 25 crores for the renovation of the British-era structure in order to develop as a tourist attraction.

This was stated by Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur while inaugurating the five-day long State level Gram Shilp Mela which was organized by the State Language Art and Culture Department here on May 17, 2018.

Bantony Castle is one of the historic and monumental buildings of Shimla town and has a very rich history. spread over around 20,000 square meter area between Circular Road and Mall Road.

The Chief Minister said the building is also an example of beautiful anglo-gothic architecture. However, this fact appears to be incorrect as the Castle is built in the mock-Tudor style, part chalet and crowned with sloping roofs with mini-towers.

Nevertheless, he further said that since this building was strategically located on the Mall Road thus could be an added attraction for the tourists.

 This complex as a whole would be developed in such a way that it not only becomes a tourist attraction but also a centre of rich cultural diversity of the State.  

The previous Congress Government had, in 2017, announced that it will be turned into a Heritage museum with a restaurant and recreational park.

Artisans from different parts of the State received an opportunity to exhibit their artefacts at the Gram Shipi Mela. The government said it would also organize District level Gram Shilp Melas besides Inter-state Gram Shilp Melas to promote the artefacts of the State.

It was further informed that the State Government has announced a new scheme named ‘Aaj Purani Rahon Se’ for exploring folklores, historic events and cultural tourism in the State. The government has also decided to introduce miniaturized cultural souvenirs of Himachal Pradesh such as musical instruments, Chamba Rumal, Kangra paintings etc.

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