President Droupadi Murmu, Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi Tuesday night led the country in hailing the successful operation to rescue 41 workers trapped in Uttarakhand's Silkyara tunnel for almost 17 days, saying it is an emotional moment for everyone.
Murmu said the nation salutes the resilience of the workers and remains grateful to them for building critical infrastructure, even at great personal risk.
"I congratulate the teams and all experts who have acted with incredible grit and determination to perform one of the most difficult rescue missions in history," she said in a post on X.
Dhankhar congratulated the dedicated teams and experts for executing the challenging rescue mission with grit and determination and wished all the workers a healthy and happy life ahead.
"Greatly pleased to know about the successful rescue of all workers trapped in Uttarakhand’s tunnel. Their 17-day ordeal showcased human endurance, unmatched resilience, and indomitable faith in the nation’s commitment to stand by them," Dhankhar said.
Soon after the workers were brought out of the tunnel, Modi saluted the spirit of those involved in the operation and said their courage and resolve had given a new life to them.
"Everyone involved in the mission has created an amazing example of humanity and teamwork," he said in a post on X.
Wishing the rescued workers good health and well-being, he said their courage and patience inspire everyone.
"It is a matter of great satisfaction that these friends of ours will meet their dear ones after a long wait," Modi said, asserting that the patience and courage of their family members cannot be praised enough.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah said this was great news for the nation and said it salutes the grit of the workers in facing such a challenging situation for so long.
He also expressed his gratitude to all the people and the agencies that made tireless efforts to save lives.
Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari said he is "relieved and happy" as all the trapped workers have been rescued.
"This was a well-coordinated effort by multiple agencies, marking one of the most significant rescue operations in recent years. Various departments and agencies complemented each other despite facing numerous challenges," he said.
Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge Kharge said it was a matter of great relief and joy for everyone that the workers were brought out of the tunnel safely.
He urged the government to provide prompt health benefits and appropriate compensation to the workers and demanded that a safety audit be conducted of all under-construction schemes so that a similar situation does not arise again.
Party general secretary Jairam Ramesh lauded the resilience and fortitude of the labourers.
Thanking Modi for providing constant support during the rescue efforts, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami said no worker is critical but all of them will be kept under medical observation before being sent home.
He said evacuation began with the youngest of workers. They were all fit and crawled out of the passage on their own, he said.
Dhami also said Rs 1 lakh will be given to each rescued worker.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath thanked "everyone who made their invaluable contribution" in saving the lives of the workers.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal termed the safe rescue of the workers a victory of unity of India's people and lauded everyone involved in the operation.
"The efforts of NDRF, Army and other agencies paid off... I salute the efforts and hard work of numerous people involved in the operation who toiled day and night to make it successful," Kejriwal said on X.
"I also pay tribute to the patience and grit of all the workers who supported and encouraged one another under adverse conditions. This is a victory of unity of India's people," Kejriwal said.
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