The Supreme Court (SC,) on Friday, criticised the Meghalaya Government and said, the actions of the State Government toward rescuing 15 trapped miners are unsatisfactory.
Fifteen miners are trapped in a flooded rat hole coal mine since the 13th of December. Despite multiple attempts and joint rescue operations by the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF,) the miners are still inside the mine and are suspected to be dead.
The Apex Court said, “We pray that all people trapped in mines are alive. They should have been rescued by now. We are not satisfied with the action taken by the state government.” The Court further added, “The authorities failed to make serious efforts at the beginning when the miners were trapped in Meghalaya on December 14.”
Bearing in mind the situation of the miners, the SC ordered the State Government to submit a progress report by the 7th of January, regarding the status of the rescue operations.
Tushar Mehta, the Solicitor General of Meghalaya, in defence said, the blueprints of the illegal mines are not available, due to which the rescue operations are proving to be difficult. He further said, the trained divers of the Indian Navy were unable to go beyond 70 feet.
The National Green Tribunal banned rat hole coal mining in Meghalaya in April 2014. However, in spite of the ban, mining firms continue to practice the illegal mining technique across the State.
The Apex Court, on Thursday, took a dig at the State Government for their unsuccessful attempts and negligence and asked for a specific reason and reports regarding the same.
The rescue forces are conducting search operations, however, no fruitful results have been reported yet.
Stay tuned for further updates about the story.