'17 days long time': What PM Modi said to 41 Uttarkashi tunnel workers
VK Singh showed his Army training and discipline, PM Modi said in praise as he was speaking to the 41 workers on Tuesday after they were rescued.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday spoke to the 41 workers who were rescued from the Uttarakhand Silkyara tunnel after 17 days of tireless efforts of the Centre and the state governments along with other agencies. Congratulating them for their battle, PM Modi said 17 days are not a brief period and it was commendable that the workers did not lose hope. "We have the blessings of Kedarnath, Badrinath. Had something untoward happened, I can't describe how we could have taken that. You all have shown exemplary bravery," PM Modi said.
"You had each other's back throughout the crisis. At times like this, it is not rare to get into a little tu tu-main main. This happens even in a railway compartment. But you all have remained united," PM Modi said.
A worker told PM Modi that they never felt scared even for a moment down there inside the entrapment. "We are all from different states but we stayed together like brothers. We used to eat together. After dinner, we used to walk inside the 2.5 km tunnel. In the morning, we used to do yoga because we were doing nothing else inside there," the worker said.
As the worker mentioned Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami and Union minister of state General VK Singh (Retd), PM Modi said, "Yes, VK Singh was there the whole time. He showed his Army training and discipline."
The 17-day operation to rescue 41 workers trapped inside an under-construction tunnel grabbed the attention of the world as international tunnelling expert Arnold Dix was flown in for the operation. A heavy-duty auger machine, made in the US, was deployed but it failed several times and rat-hole miners were deployed who finally made the breakthrough on Tuesday after 24 hours' work and the 41 men came out of the entrapment.
PM Modi praised the rescuers and tweeted, "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 are 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 wrote on X.
After all of them were rescued and brought to the Community Health Centre in Chinyalisaur, PM Modi spoke to them over the telephone and asked about their wellbeing.
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