Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to the workers who were pulled out from Uttarakhand's Silkyara tunnel after a marathon rescue operation which lasted for 17 days and enquired about their health and well-being.

The Prime Minister on late Tuesday evening spoke to the rescued construction workers over the phone and encouraged them, officials said.

Earlier on Tuesday, Modi spoke to Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami and received information about the requisite arrangements for all construction workers after they were evacuated out of the tunnel.

Tunnel collapse
Tunnel collapseIANS

Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge and party leader Rahul Gandhi said that "it is a matter of great relief and joy while congratulating the team involved in the rescue operation".

Kharge also urged the government to provide prompt health benefits and appropriate compensation to the workers and demanded for safety audit of all under-construction projects to be conducted.

"It is a matter of great relief and joy for all of us that the workers trapped in the under-construction tunnel in Silkyara, Uttarkashi, for the last 17 days were taken out of the tunnel safely today," he wrote on X.

Uttarkashi tunnel collapse
Uttarkashi tunnel collapseIANS

He said that due to the prayers of 140 crore Indians and the long-running operation involving all the agencies, including NDMA, the rescue operation was finally successful.

"Request the government to provide prompt health benefits and appropriate compensation to the worker brothers. Safety audit of all those under-construction projects should be conducted so that such situation does not arise again," the Congress President said.

In a post on X, Rahul Gandhi said, "The safe return of the worker brothers trapped inside the Silkyara tunnel of Uttarkashi is a very happy news. My heartiest congratulations to them and their families."

"The safety of our worker brothers who are building India is of paramount importance. I salute all the brave men who made this difficult operation successful," he added.


The remarks came after all 41 trapped workers were safely pulled out of the collapsed tunnel.

Rat-hole mining was started on Monday evening as rescue efforts to reach the 41 workers trapped inside the Silkyara tunnel entered its sixteenth day.

Relief and rescue work, which entered the sixteenth day, was carried out by scientists, international experts, NDRF, SDRF, BRO on a war footing.

On November 12, an under-construction tunnel collapsed in Uttarakhand's Uttarkashi leaving 41 workers trapped.

(With inputs from IANS)