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Tunnel rescue mission discussed at Cabinet meet; PM Modi was 'very emotional': Anurag Thakur

NEW DELHI: The Uttarakhand tunnel rescue mission came up for discussion during the meeting of the Union Cabinet on Tuesday night, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi was ''very emotional'', Union minister Anurag Thakur said on Wednesday.

Briefing reporters on the decisions taken by the Cabinet, he said there was ''whole of government'' approach and every effort was made to save every life from anywhere in the country or even abroad.

''The Modi government and the prime minister have made every effort to save the lives of every Indian even from abroad and Uttarakhand is another such example in this regard,'' Thakur told reporters.

He said the issue came up before the Cabinet meeting and ''the prime minister was very emotional about it''.

''A whole of government approach was adopted and efforts were made by the entire country to save each and every life trapped in the tunnel. The prime minister used to enquire about the efforts made to rescue the trapped workers twice everyday, even when he was campaigning,'' he said.

Amid election campaign, the prime minister used to get updates at least twice a day from various sources, including Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami, Thakur said in response to a question. ''But, one thing surely came as to what is 'team spirit' and what is leadership ability and our workers have displayed that too and how their leader said he would go out at the end till everyone of them were taken out. We have a lot to learn from the workers who were trapped there.

''Earlier too, our prime minster has lauded our workers, be it in those involved in the construction of Parliament or Kartavya Path or Kashi Vishwanath temple and that shows how the prime minister has felt importance for 'shramiks' and those involved in the development of the country,'' he asserted.

The successful operation to rescue 41 workers trapped in an under-construction road tunnel in Uttarakhand culminated on Tuesday night. A portion of the under-construction tunnel on Uttarakhand's Char Dham route collapsed on November 12, blocking the exit of the workers who were inside.

Food, medicines and other essentials were sent to them through a six-inch pipe pushed through the debris.


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