The efforts of multiple agencies finally got success in rescuing all 41 workers who were trapped inside the Silkyara tunnel after a portion of it collapsed. The waiting of the workers' families ended on Tuesday with the completion of the drilling works. The breakthrough at the Silkyara tunnel brought smiles to the faces of people who had been waiting outside the tunnel for the last 17 days. The moment workers started coming out, the atmosphere around the tunnel was charged with a wave of joy and people started sloganeering.
The residents from nearby areas made slogans like - 'Bharat Mata Ki Jai' and 'Modi hai to Mumkin hai' in acknowledgement of the success of the daunting rescue operation.
They also sang in praise of the local deity 'Baba Baukhnag' and expressed their gratitude to him.
The priest of a temporary temple of Baba Baukhnag, which was set up at the tunnel site, arrived and offered prayers. "It is happening because of the blessings of Baba Baukhnag," priest Ram Narayan Awasthi said.
Manoj Silwal, a farmer and resident of village Nangal, said he had been coming here everyday to hear the good news that finally came on Tuesday.
"I wanted to see the workers coming out," said Silwal.
Rajesh Bijalwan, an advocate by profession and resident of village Brahmkhal, said, "I want to salute the rescue team. With their continuous and critical operations, the workers are saved," Bijalwan said.
Dr Vijay Badoni, a physician from Chilyalisaur, said, "A hawan was organised yesterday outside the tunnel. Baba Baukhnag had promised that the workers will be rescued soon and now they are safe."
Govt announces Rs 1 lakh for each rescued worker, construction of temple
Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Dhami, while addressing a press conference, announced that his government would provide Rs 1 lakh financial assistance to each of the workers. Additionally, he urged the companies employing these workers to grant them 15 to 30 days of leave without deduction of wages. He also announced to construct Baba Baidyanath Temple at the mouth of the tunnel.
(With PTI inputs)