Not satisfied with steps taken for Meghalaya miners' rescue: Supreme Court slams state government 

WION Web Team
New Delhi, Delhi, India Published: Jan 03, 2019, 12.14 PM(IST)

File photo of Supreme Court of India. Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

The apex court asked 'why are they not successful?' in rescuing the trapped miners after all the effort that are being undertaken. 

The Supreme Court of India has expressed dissatisfaction with Meghalaya government's measures to rescue 15 miners stuck in a rat-hole mine in East Jaintia Hills.

The apex court has asked what steps the state government has taken to rescue the miners.

Meghalaya government had submitted before the top court stating, "the state is taking steps to rescue the trapped miners. 72 NDRF personnel, 14 Navy personnel and Coal India personnel are working since December 14," news agency ANI reported.

The Supreme Court asked "why are they not successful?" in rescuing the trapped miners after all the effort that is being undertaken. 

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Fifteen miners are trapped inside a 370-foot-deep illegal coal mine in East Jaintia Hills district since December 13 after water from a nearby river gushed in, puncturing the mine wall. 

The divers from the Indian Navy and the NDRF on Wednesday could not go down the 370 foot-deep mine, in which 15 miners are trapped for nearly three weeks, even as draining out of a nearby abandoned mine they believe may be connected to it continued, officials said.

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A high-powered submersible pump from Coal India Ltd will be put into operation Thursday in the abandoned mine, while more pumps from Odisha Fire and Disaster service are to be pressed into services in more abandoned mines, they said.

The divers from the Indian navy and the NDRF did not go down the main shaft to rescue the trapped miners because 'de-watering' was going on in the nearby mines and there was no significant decrease in water level there, operation spokesperson R Susngi told PTI, giving details of the operation on the 21st day of the disaster.

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The spokesperson said the services of the Navy and NDRF divers will be used once the water level at the main shaft decreases to about 100 feet from its current level of over 160 feet.

A high powered submersible pump from Coal India Ltd, which arrived here Tuesday night, is expected to be fully operational and begin pumping Thursday, Susngi said.

Susngi also said the Odisha team is expected to operate more pumps on Thursday in the nearby abandoned mine shafts in East Jaintia Hills district. District Authorities said there are at least 90 such abandoned mine shafts in the area and at present, they are all full of water.

The rescue officials believe that the nearby mines may be connected with the main shaft due to which water level is not going down there.

Five more pumps with similar power and functions from Coal India Ltd are on the way by road from their various centres across the country.

(With inputs from PTI

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