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India can do anything to save lives of citizens: Patnaik on tunnel rescue operation

BHUBANESWAR: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said that rescuing all 41 workers, who were trapped inside an under-construction tunnel in Uttarakhand, proved that the country can do anything and everything to save the lives of its citizens.

Patnaik thanked the rescue team for evacuating the 41 labourers, including five from Odisha, from the Silkyara tunnel after almost 17 days.

It was a festival-like atmosphere on Tuesday evening in the villages of the five workers from the state as people distributed sweets, beat drums and danced to the tune of music.

The family members of the five were now relieved and had thanked the government and all agencies involved in the massive rescue operation.

"It gives me immense pleasure to learn about the successful rescue operation and I am very happy that our workers will return home safe," Patnaik said in a statement.

The state government has sent a team and the family members of the trapped Odia labourers to the site in Uttarkashi district, he said.

The chief minister thanked the Uttarakhand government, NDRF and the Defence team for the successful rescue operation and said, "This proves that India can do anything and everything to save the lives of its citizens." The five workers of Odisha, who were trapped in the tunnel, were Khirod (Raju) Nayak, Dhiren Nayak and Bisweswar Nayak from Mayurbhanj district, Bhagwan Bhatra of Nabarangpur and Tapan Mandal of Bhadrak.

Locals in Bhatra's village Talabeda celebrated by bursting firecrackers and beating drums.

"We are very happy to learn that Bhagawan was rescued safely from the tunnel. We thank God for this," said the worker's sister-in-law.

After the rescue operation was completed, locals at Bangriposi greeted the family members of Dhiren Nayak.

"I got a call from our family member who is camped there in Uttarakhand that my husband has been rescued safely," said Dhiren's wife.

Thanking the personnel involved in the operation, Khirod's father Mochiram Nayak said he would not allow his son to go to Uttarakhand again for work.

"I request the state government to provide work to my son here," he stated.


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