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CSR: Meghalaya Miners in a Rat Hole

coal mining

15 Indian miners went down in an illegal coal mine in the Jaintia Hills district in Meghalaya on 13 Dec. There is no news of their return even after two weeks since they left. Apparently, the men have stuck in the 370 feet deep mine since it got flooded.

The incident has not happened for the first time. 15 miners were killed in 2012 when they went down in another rat hole mine of Meghalaya. Owing to this, the federal court had banned mining in Meghalaya in 2014. The activity is continuing despite the ban, because of corruption and lack of enforcement by the local government.

In a similar incident a few months ago in Thailand, the cave rescue operation had made it to national and international headlines garnering a lot of attention. A global effort was made for the trapped team with about 9000 volunteers and 1500 journalists visiting the sight to provide assistance and detailed updates to the rest of the world. On the other hand, these mining incidents keep happening in Meghalaya and even the national press barely covers it.

70 members of National Disaster Response Force have been attempting to rescue the trapped men since the past few days. However, lack of equipment to reduce the water levels is making it difficult for them to get any information. The leader of the rescue mission, SK Shastri, told Scroll.in that at least 10 pumps of 100 horsepower each will be required to reduce the water levels.

The team is currently equipped with weaker pumps and have been waiting for the government to provide them with a more powerful pump. According to Meghalaya’s home minister, the request for the pump has been made, but the approval for the same is pending.

There is a definite suspicion that these men may not have survived. And it is such a shame that lack of coordination and immediate action may cause these men to lose their lives.

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The CSR Journal Team