Rescue gone wrong
Sir — Pet parenting is in vogue. But taking care of an animal can be as difficult as rearing a child. Take, for instance, the case of Anjana Das, who fell to her death from her eighth-floor apartment building in Calcutta while trying to rescue her pet cat from a cornice. Ignoring warnings from a bystander, Das tried crossing the parapet and crashed to the ground when she lost her balance. It is often safer for parents to take their sick children to the doctor instead of self-medicating. Perhaps Das should also have waited to get help that would have saved two lives: her own and her pet’s.
Pratima Sikdar, Calcutta
Sir — A group of rat-hole miners pulled off a miracle by rescuing the trapped labourers from the collapsed section of the Silkyara Bend-Barkot tunnel in an operation which swung between hope and despair for over two weeks (“Magical rat-hole miners”, Nov 30). The description of the rudimentary, hand-held equipment that they used and their ability to squeeze into narrow tunnels with low levels of oxygen reveal the hardships that they face in their lives to eke out a paltry living. The fact that these miners need to work in such inhumane conditions to earn a living belies the shining image of India that Narendra Modi likes to project. The government should ensure that the contributions of these labourers are not forgotten.
Jahar Saha, Calcutta
Sir — The Telegraph should be congratulated for publishing the names and the pictures of the 12 rat-hole miners who participated in the operation to rescue the trapped labourers in Uttarkashi. It is disheartening that they are usually not paid more than Rs 600 per day even after working around 12 hours daily in deplorable conditions. They should be compensated properly.
D. Bhattacharyya, Calcutta
Sir — The 12-member team of rat-hole miners who saved the labourers in Uttarakhand has deservedly been portrayed as heroes. The diversity of this group would also be a lesson to those who spread hatred along the lines of religion and caste.
Ananda Dulal Ghosh, Howrah
Sir — The crisis in the collapsed tunnel in Uttarakhand ended fortunately with all the trapped workers being rescued (“Tunnel vision”, Nov 30). The entire nation had been waiting with bated breath for such a favourable outcome. Gabbar Singh
Negi, the foreman of the labourers stuck inside the tunnel, must be lauded
for his efforts to keep the spirits of his compatriots high with regular physical activity.
Ganesh Sanyal, Nadia
Sir — There are numerous takeaways from the Uttarkashi tunnel collapse episode. Exhaustive investigations should be conducted into the environmental impact of such excavation projects. Additionally, the efforts of manual workers like the rat-hole miners — they succeeded where machines had failed — should be recognised. Their potential in contributing to nation-building has been wasted thus far.
Sujit De, Calcutta
Sir — As India celebrates a successful rescue mission, some lessons need to be learned. Ignoring the long-term environmental effects of excavation in seismologically active zones like the Himalayas is a bad idea. Further, the rag-tag team of rat-hole miners that
completed in a few hours what machines had been struggling to do for days deserves to be lauded. Worker safety cannot be skimped on if Himalayan projects like the Char
Dham circuit are to be completed.
Gregory Fernandes, Mumbai