Mrunal Manmay Dash

The families of five Odia workers who were stuck inside the Silkyara tunnel of Uttarkashi for 17 days finally heaved a sigh of relief after they were rescued along with 36 other workers on Tuesday evening.

The rescued Odia workers are - Bisweswar Nayak and Dhiren Nayak from Baripada, Bhagwan Bhatra from Jharigaon, Raju Nayak from Kuldiha, and Tapan Mondal from Chalis Chen village.

Light came back to the families of the workers who were stuck in the collapsed tunnel for 400 hours since the night of Diwali as they celebrated the news of their rescue with dance, music, and firecrackers.

As per reports, the villagers of the rescued Odia workers are planning a huge welcome party when they return to their respective villages.

After receiving the news of her son’s rescue, Dhiren Nayak’s mother, who had been crying and not taking food for the last 17 days, was on cloud nine and distributed sweets to villagers.

“I am so happy to learn that Dhiren is out of the tunnel. We spoke with him over the phone. He is healthy and does not have any injuries,” said a relative of Dhiren.

Similarly, the mood of the villagers at Jharigaon in Nabarangpur was nothing less than festive after the news of Bhagwan Bhatra’s rescue spread last night.

Dabugaon BDO Sharat Majhi said, “I am happy that Bhagwan is safe and out of the collapsed tunnel. We will welcome him when he returns to the village. We will make sure to include him in government schemes so that he does not go again to work as a migrant worker.”

“We are very happy that Bhagwan will return home safe and sound. I celebrated his safe return from the tunnel with his family members with dance and the bursting of firecrackers. It is no less than Diwali for us,” said Dabugaon MLA, Manohar Randhari.

The perseverance of the rescue team yielded results after they successfully rescued all the workers who were stuck in the tunnel for 17 long days.

NDRF, SDRF, and other agencies broke through the debris to push 60 meters of rescue pipe by auger machine and rat miners to reach the workers.

Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami and other officials welcomed and inquired about the health of the rescued workers. Ambulances and temporary health facilities equipped with medical personnel examined the rescued laborers and rushed them to the hospital for treatment.

A part of the under-construction tunnel had collapsed on November 12 and efforts were on since then to rescue the men.