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    Trapped Meghalaya miners: Supreme Court to hear PIL seeking hastening of rescue operations

    Trapped Meghalaya miners: Supreme Court to hear PIL seeking hastening of rescue operations

    Trapped Meghalaya miners: Supreme Court to hear PIL seeking hastening of rescue operations
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    By Ashmit Kumar   IST (Published)

    The Supreme Court has agreed to hear a public interest litigation (PIL) questioning the slow pace of rescue operations to extract 15 trapped miners in Meghalaya. The PIL was mentioned before a bench headed by Ranjan Gogoi, Chief Justice of India.
    The petition questioned as to why heavy duty pumps offered by private companies had not been deployed or utilised to assist in the rescue operations.
    Since December 13, the miners have been trapped in a ‘rat-hole’ coal mine in the Ksan area of Lumthari village in Meghalaya's East Jaintia Hills district. The accident occurred due to water from the nearby Lytein River gushing into the mine.
    The PIL came after reports claimed that the technical snags in the water pumps slowed down the rescue operations. The PIL has sought an order from SC directing the relevant government agencies to air lift the pumps from the respective facilities of Kirloskars and Tatas who offered to assist in the rescue operations.
    The Kirloskars offered four 100 Horsepower pumps while the Tatas offered two 100 Horsepower pumps.
    The PIL also questions as to why only the Navy and the Air Force were engaged in the rescue operations and sought for Army's intervention as well.
    A team comprising of Indian Navy divers and Odisha firefighters have been working tirelessly to evacuate the miners trapped in what could be a 370 feet deep pit.
    The National Green Tribunal (NGT) had ordered an interim ban on “rat-hole” coal mining in the state effective April 17, 2014.
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