All 41 workers who were trapped inside Uttarakhand's Silkyari tunnel since November 12 were evacuated safely after which Prime Minister Narendra Modi praised the courage and patience of the trapped workers and their families and the bravery and determination of the rescue personnel.
On November 12, a section of the tunnel between 205 and 260 metres from the Silkyara side collapsed. Workers who were beyond the 260-metre mark were trapped, with their exit blocked.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami has said that the Uttarakhand government will provide financial assistance of Rs 1 lakh to each all the workers trapped in the Silkyara tunnel.
"Apart from this, complete arrangements will be made for their treatment in the hospital till going home," he said.
On the successful evacuation of all the workers from Uttarkashi tunnel, Colonel Deepak Patil said, "This operation shows our country is so powerful and there is no shortage of resources in our country and our govt and all organisations are very strong.
"PM Modi was in constant touch and he ensured that everything was being done systematically," he added.
SDRF workers engaged in the rescue operations said "It is a big day for us today. All the workers have finally been rescued successfully. It was a very difficult operation. All the trapped workers are healthy and safe..."
Moreover, Cyriac Joseph, MD and CEO, Squadrone Infra Mining Pvt Ltd said that it was not just a difficult mission but war for humanity.
"It was not just a difficult mission but war for humanity...we're glad to be a part of it," he added.
BJP MP Manoj Tiwari said, "We thank everyone who was part of the members who were part of those rescue operations..we feel that when PM Modi is there, every citizen of the country will be safe."
As the news of the successful rescue operation of labourers came in, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik heaved a sigh of relief and thanked the various rescue teams that had been engaged in the operation over several days.
The Chief Minister has said, "It gives me immense pleasure to learn about the successful rescue operation and I am very happy that our workers will return home safe.' It may be mentioned here that out of the 41 trapped labourers in the tunnel, there are five from Odisha."
The rescued workers were draped in orange marigold flower garlands and were greeted by Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami and Union Minister VK Singh.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi praised the bravery and determination of rescuers involved in the Silkyara tunnel operation, saying that they have given new life to the labourers, who were trapped in the tunnel for the last 16 days, adding that the mission has set an "example of humanity and teamwork".
PM Modi took to X and said "The success of the rescue operation of our labourer brothers in Uttarkashi is making everyone emotional. I want to say to the friends who were trapped in the tunnel that your courage and patience is inspiring everyone. I wish you all well and good health."
"It is a matter of great satisfaction that after a long wait, these friends of ours will now meet their loved ones. The patience and courage that all these families have shown in this challenging time cannot be appreciated enough, PM Modi added.
PM Modi further said that everyone involved in this mission has set an example of humanity and teamwork.
"I also salute the spirit of all the people associated with this rescue operation. Their bravery and determination have given new life to our labour brothers. Everyone involved in this mission has set an amazing example of humanity and teamwork," PM Modi said on X.
"The exact time of breakthrough was 7:05 pm. Uttarakhand CM, Minister of State for Road Transport and Highways and Civil Aviation Gen VK Singh are present there," said Harpal Singh, Project Head, Zoji-la Tunnel. (ANI)