Successful Rescue Operation by SJVN Limited in Arun –III HEP, Nepal

An incident of major landslide occurred on the approach road to Adit-1 of Arun –III Hydro Electric Project,being executed by SAPDC, A wholly owned subsidiary of SJVN Limited in Nepal on 15th June, 2018 at around 08:30PM. The Adit-1 had been excavated upto 27m length till the time of the incident. Due to the slide, the portal of tunnel got plugged with huge boulders and muck. Four workers of M/s. Jaiprakash Associates Limited who were engaged in drilling with boomers at the face of the tunnel got trapped inside. The right abutment of the bridge over the NumKhola (a rivulet) leading to approach road of Adit-1, collapsed due to heavy muck. The incessant rain for last couple of days caused this major land slide. Though it was still sliding, the rescue operation started within half an hour by SJVN. The communication could not be maintained with the workers trapped inside the tunnel. It was not known whether and how much the boulders and muck has entered into the tunnel and the trapped workers are alive or not. It was continuously raining throughout the night of 15th June, due to which the rescue operation was being hampered.

On 16th June, 2018 also, it kept on raining intermittently but the rescue operation was continued by SJVN in full swing, with deployment of three excavators, two breakers & one compressor with jack hammer and other machinery. By the evening of 16th June at around 05:30 PM there was flood in NumKhola due to which, the rescue operation had to be halted. However, when the flood in NumKhola lowered down, the rescue operation was again resumed.

After 39 hours of continuous rescue operation, the trapped four workers were rescued safely through a hole made by the breaker on 17th June morning at 11:00AM. Thereafter all the four workers were medically examined by the Doctors and were found physically healthy and fit.

It is pertinent to mention here that a team of doctor and other para medical staff from local Primary Health Center, Num were kept ready throughout the operation. A Helicopter at Kathmandu was also kept ready in emergency to cater to any eventuality. With successful and courageous efforts of SJVN along with local public support all four workers were rescued safely.