Labourers who played an instrumental role in making the Uttarkashi Tunnel operation successful are at the centre of attraction in Delhi. Politicians are lining up at their houses to meet them. From BJP leaders to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal all have praised their work.
“In this selfish world, nobody thinks about anyone else, but these ‘Shramveers’ worked day and night without caring for their lives and saved 41 lives. It’s matter of pride for us that all these people live in Delhi and have been working for DJB for years,” said Kejriwal after meeting them at his residence on Friday.
The Chief Minister welcomed and felicitated them during the meeting.
“These labourers overcame the most challenging obstacle in reaching the people trapped in the tunnel. All of these individuals reside in different parts of Delhi and have been associated with the DJB for many years. When the American auger machine failed in the attempt to rescue the 41 people trapped in the tunnel, these labourers were airlifted to Uttarakhand from Delhi. Upon reaching there, they immediately got to work. During this difficult time, they worked tirelessly for nearly 36 hours without rest and saved the lives of those trapped in the tunnel,” said the CM.
The team recounted to the CM the challenges of this rescue operation, and the CM congratulated and praised their bravery. The DJB Chairman and Water Minister Atishi along with other cabinet colleagues were also present during this period.
On this occasion, Kejriwal praised all the labourers. The Chief Minister stated: “You risked your lives, worked day and night restlessly, and saved the lives of 41 people trapped in the tunnel. Today, the world is very selfish. In such a selfish world, nobody thinks about anyone else. The first thing a person thinks about is, ‘What will happen to me? What will happen to my children if something happens to me? What will happen to my family?’ A person primarily thinks about themselves. In this kind of world, there are people like you. The brave work you have done is being talked about all over the country. Today, the entire nation is discussing how you continuously worked day and night to save the lives of 41 people.”
The Chief Minister mentioned that it’s a matter of great pride for Delhiites that all of you are from Delhi and have been working with us in the DJB for many years. As soon as the news of your arrival from Uttarkashi to Delhi was received, my wish was to sit and have tea with all of you. It’s a great fortune for me to have the opportunity to sit and converse with all of you today.
Atishi said: “Kejriwal felicitated the 15 individuals associated with the DJB, who were involved in the excavation of the Uttarkashi’s Silkyara tunnel and successfully rescuing 41 people trapped inside. The Chief Minister said it’s remarkable that at a difficult moment when even prominent individuals couldn’t make the right decisions, ordinary people risked their lives and saved the lives of 41 people in their country. We also congratulated the company these heroes are associated with because they didn’t charge the government a single rupee for the rescue operation. The company undertook this task understanding its responsibility and patriotism. I believe if such feelings arise in everyone in the country, our nation can progress significantly.”
The labourers recounted challenges to the CM during this time
During this time, the labourers provided detailed information to Kejriwal about the challenges they faced before reaching the 41 people trapped in the tunnel. They explained that the American auger machine was extremely hot. Even the rod they had to cut was excessively heated. There was an inch-by-inch distance between them. Cutting it was highly challenging. While protecting themselves from the heat, we cut through all the auger rods. We worked continuously for 36 hours without sleep or rest and finally reached the 41 people trapped in the tunnel. Not once did we lose courage, working continuously day and night until we succeeded. We risked our lives to save others, putting our lives in jeopardy for Delhi and our country. We are proud of this.
The company’s expertise came to work in reaching the people trapped in the tunnel
Workers explained that L.R. Sharma and his company have been associated with the DJB for nearly 40 years. L.R. Sharma’s expertise proved very useful in extracting the 41 people trapped inside the tunnel in Uttarkashi. Along with L.R. Sharma, Vipin Gupta was involved in a joint venture, and the machine and workers were airlifted to Uttarkashi. All these individuals have been working with the DJB for decades. A collapsed part of the tunnel, about 48 meters, was very challenging. Many had failed in drilling through this section. But we managed to overcome that obstacle.
Worker Nirmal Mishra said they met Kejriwal, and the CM himself welcomed and greeted them. Meeting the CM made us very emotional because the CM embraced us, expressing his gratitude on behalf of Delhi. This is a matter of great pride and honor for us.
15 individuals associated with the DJB were involved in the task of rescuing 41 people trapped in a tunnel in Uttarkashi. These people are connected with L.R. Sharma and the company are related to DJB and reside in different parts of Delhi. These 15 individuals formed three teams, each with expertise in different tasks. They collaborated and overcame the difficulties in reaching the people trapped in the tunnel. Among them are Jhadu Ram from Nangloi, Radhe Raman Dubey, Amit Kumar Rajak, and Tinku Dubey from Mahavir Vihar Colony, Shashikant Kumar from Jay Vihar Phase-III Baprola, along with Nirmal Mishra. They have considerable experience working inside the tunnel and are excellent welders. They performed cutting and welding inside the tunnel and pipes to rescue the trapped individuals.
In the second team Mohammad Ahmad from Delhi, Om Prakash from Nangloi, and Dhirendra Rai from Kanjhawala. They possess excellent experience in pipe fitting inside the tunnel. They worked on pipe fitting to give a push. The third team included Rakesh Rajput, Mahipal Lodhi, Surya Mohan Rai, Prasadi Lodhi, Bhupendra Lodhi, and Jatram Lodhi from Delhi. They have expertise in manually pushing the pipe inside the tunnel.