Not satisfied! Supreme Court raps Meghalaya government for failing to rescue trapped miners

By: |
New Delhi | January 3, 2019 1:14 PM

The Supreme Court today slammed the Meghalaya government on its efforts to rescue 15 miners trapped in an illegal coal mine in the state for the last 21 days.

meghalaya miners, meghalaya, meghalaya mine, meghalaya miners trapped, meghalaya miners update, meghalaya miners rescue, meghalaya miners latest newsFirefighting personnel conduct rescue task at the site of the coal mine collapse at Ksan, in Jaintia Hills district of Meghalaya. (PTI Photo)

The Supreme Court today slammed the Meghalaya government on its efforts to rescue 15 miners trapped in an illegal coal mine in the state for the last 21 days. Hearing a plea seeking urgent measures to rescue the trapped miners, the top court said it was not satisfied with the rescue operations for those trapped inside. As many as 15 miners are trapped in an illegal flooded coal mine in East Jaintia Hills since December 13 last year.

A bench consisting of Justices A K Sikri and S Abdul Nazeer asked the state government as to why it was not successful in rescuing people trapped inside the mine. .Application filed by lawyer Aditya N Prasad also requested direction to the Centre and other concerned authorities to prepare a standard operating procedure (SOP) for rescue operations in mines and other similar situations.

“We are not satisfied. It is a question of life and death,” the bench said during the hearing as per PTI. Appearing for the state, the counsel, told the top court that adequate steps have been taken in the rescue operation and the Centre was also providing support.

The bench also asked petitioner Aditya N Prasad, who requested for urgent steps for rescue of these people, to call a Centre’s law officer so that the order can be passed immediately, the agency furter reported.

The plea that has been filed through advocate Astha Sharma, also requested directions to the Centre and Meghalaya Government to take services of the technical wing of the Indian Army, Indian Navy and Indian Air Force — in the ongoing operation to rescue 15 miners. The mine, located on a hillock fully covered with trees in state’s East Jaintia Hills district, was flooded when water from Lytein river gushed inside it, trapping the miners.

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Rat-hole mining involves digging of small tunnels, for workers to enter through and extract coal. The horizontal tunnels are termed “rat holes” as these are just enough to fit one person.

The applicant had requested for directions for Centre and the state government to look for high capacity self-priming pumps available in the country including Kirloskar Brothers Limited (KBL) which were offered to the Royal Thai government last year in June-July.

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