'Every second counts': SC says 'dissatisfied' with Meghalaya govt's efforts to rescue trapped miners

-The Indian Express

Meghalaya mine collapse: Terming it a 'serious issue,' the bench said 'it is a question of life and death.'

The Supreme Court Thursday expressed “dissatisfaction” with the manner in which the Meghalaya government organised the operations to rescue the 15 miners trapped inside a rat-hole mine in the state. Terming it a “serious issue,” a two-judge bench comprising Justices A K Sikri and S Abdul Nazeer questioned why the Army was not roped in for the rescue operations.

Adding that ‘every second counts for those trapped in the mine and that it is a question of life and death,’ the court asked for prompt, immediate and effective steps. It also asked Solicitor General Tushar Mehta to look into the matter urgently and apprise the court of steps taken on Friday.

It also asked the government what steps it has taken to save the miners and why are they still unsuccessful. Responding to the bench, the Meghalaya government said that a multi-agency operation has been launched and that “72 NDRF personnel, 14 Navy personnel and Coal India officials” are working near the mine. The court, however, rapped the government calling the efforts “unsatisfactory.”

The miners were trapped in the ‘rat-hole’ mine on December 13, after water from the nearby Lytein river gushed into it. Three weeks later, only three helmets have been recovered from the mine.

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The Indian Express, 3 January, 2019, https://indianexpress.com/article/north-east-india/meghalaya/supreme-court-meghalaya-mine-collapse-rescue-5521318/

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