Seek help of experts to rescue miners trapped in Meghalaya says SC
New Delhi, Jan 11: The Supreme Court has directed the Centre and the Meghalaya government to seek help of experts to rescue those trapped in a coal mine. The miners have been trapped in Meghalaya's East Janitia Hills since December 13 2018.
On the last date of hearing the court sought to know what action the government had taken on this issue.
The court asked," what action have you taken. The miners have been missing for so many days. The court also said that it was not satisfied with the rescue operations. No matter whether they are all dead, some alive, few dead or all alive, they should be taken out. We pray to God that they are alive, the court said while summoning the Central Government counsel.
The court also told Solicitor General, Tushar Mehta, ' you wanted to send pumps to Thailand. That is not happening here. Why not,' the court also asked.
Further it said that it is the Centre which has to do something. The Army had volunteered to help, but government did not want it. Why? Mehta said that instead of the Army, the NDRF is there. The court said that there are 72 NDRF men there, but there has been no result. Mehta then said that instead of the Army, they had sent the Navy.
The PIL filed by Aditya N Prasad also sought a direction to the Centre and other authorities concerned to prepare a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for rescue operations in mining.
Rat-hole mining involves digging of narrow tunnels, usually three-four feet high, for workers to enter and extract coal. The horizontal tunnels are often termed "rat holes" as each just about fits one person.