The rescue operation to save the 41 men trapped in an under-construction tunnel in Uttarkashi is now in its seventh day. To aid in the rescue mission, international tunnelling expert, Professor Arnold Dix, has been contacted.
Professor Dix, who is the President of International Tunneling Underground Space, has arrived at the Silkyara tunnel where the rescue operation is ongoing. He took a moment to offer prayers at a temple located at the main entrance of the tunnel.
On his way to India, Professor Dix spoke with India Today about his plans to assist the onsite team in rescuing the trapped laborers. “I have a clear mission. We must rescue the 41 men. There is no room for negotiation,” he said. He has already contacted the onsite team to discuss the best options for a safe rescue.
Professor Dix expressed his determination to bring the trapped men to safety, praising the ongoing efforts at the site. “He said, ‘We are doing great work here. Our whole team is here and we are going to find a solution and get them out.”
He highlights the importance of safety for both the trapped men and the rescuers, and commended the systematic work, the provision of food and medication, and the fantastic planning of the onsite team.
Who is Arnold Dix?
The International Tunnelling and Underground Space Association recently elected Professor Arnold Dix from Australia as the President during its 48th General Assembly in Copenhagen. He is a renowned figure in the field of engineering, geology, law, and risk management.
His memberships include the Victorian Planning & Environmental Law Association (VPELA), the Australian Centre for International Commercial Arbitration (ACICA), Engineers Australia, and he is a Visiting Professor of Engineering at the Post Graduate School of Tokyo City University. He has also served as a verifier for extreme engineering (tunnels) for the Guinness Book of Records and is a committee member of several international associations related to road and transit systems.
With a career spanning over 30 years, he has developed a unique blend of expertise in these areas, with a particular focus on tunnelling, underground infrastructure, fire and disasters, as well as broader civil planning and environmental disputes.
Professor Dix’s strength lies in his ability to bridge the gap between the legal and technical dimensions of a problem, risk assessment, or dispute. His approach to legal matters is practical and commercially minded, taking into account the many factors intrinsic to complex disputes related to tunnelling, mining, engineering, and underground works.
In addition to his legal work, Professor Dix can engage in roles as an investigator, expert witness, consultant, and mediator. He is a founding member of Underground Works Chambers, which specializes in all aspects of legal, technical, and risk management for the underground.
Frequently invited as a guest speaker on subsurface infrastructure, tunnelling, mining, and underground works, both in Australia and internationally, Professor Dix is the current President of the International Tunnelling Association, which holds Consultative Status to the United Nations.
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