After 16 days of continuous effort by State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) of Uttarakhand, NDRF, local administration and army, all the 41 trapped tunnel workers of Silkyara were rescued amid falling ray of hope for them. Union Minister of state for road and highway, General VK Singh, spoke exclusively with India News about how rescue operations succeeded.
Q: Rescue mission succeeded and all the 41 tunnel workers were finally evacuated. What do you want to say on this grand mission?
A: First of all, I want to thank everybody for this outstanding achievement. The mission succeeded because of the superb effort made by State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) of Uttarakhand, NDRF, local administration and army. Besides, local people also chipped in with their valuable contribution. God’s blessings were also with us.
Q: Whenever a crisis crops up, Prime Minister Narendra Modi plays his part immensely but the Opposition parties have a different take on this. How do you take this?
A: We must salute our Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his superb role played in making the rescue operation a successful one. He worked like a team leader who always stood up at the time of this scale of national crisis. Though the Opposition has always tried to criticise him, it has never succeeded. On the other hand, the Opposition’s continuous attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi has worked in a different way and people have developed more faith in PM’s leadership.
Q: Being a retired army chief, you know how to play from the frontfoot. You remained at the tunnel site till the final hours of rescue operations. How did you manage all this?
A: In army, you are taught discipline and sense to serve people not only in war but also during the peace time. Our motto has been to serve people well whenever they are in a crisis. Similar is the motto of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) as a political party. I hail the BJP workers who helped in the success of the rescue mission. I would also like to laud Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami who worked like an army general and showed immense enthusiasm during all those tough 16 days.