National

Rahul Gandhi Takes Dig At PM Modi For Ignoring Coal Miners Plight In Meghalaya

PRERNA YADAV | 1
3312
| December 26 , 2018 , 17:59 IST

Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday lashed out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for ignoring the coal miners plight in Meghalaya.

Rahul took to his twitter account and said, “15 miners have been struggling for air in a flooded coal mine for two weeks. Meanwhile, PM struts about on Bogibeel Bridge posing for cameras. His government refuses to organise high-pressure pumps for the rescue. PM please save the miners.”

The search and rescue operations to look for 15 miners trapped since December 13 at a "rat-hole" mine in Meghalaya’s East Jaintia Hills district got stopped because of the lack of equipment, mainly pumps to drain out water.

On December 13, nearly 20 miners entered the quarry owned by Krip Chullet. After reaching the bottom of the pit, they entered horizontal manholes, often termed as 'rat-holes', as each just about fits one person. The miners were trapped in the illegal pit after water from nearby Lytein River gushed into the mine. Five persons were able to climb out of the flooded mine, leaving the others behind.

Four years after the National Green Tribunal ordered a ban on coal mining in Meghalaya, illegal practices continue unabated in the state, putting lives at risk every day. 

Rat-hole mining involves digging of narrow tunnels, usually 3-4 feet high, for workers to enter and extract coal. The horizontal tunnels are often termed "rat-holes", as each just about fits one person.

Also Read: 13 Miners Feared Dead In Meghalaya's Coal Mine, Rescue Operations Underway

According to government reports, the coal mining industry was among the biggest revenue earners for the state, generating about Rs 700 crore annually, prior to its ban in 2014.