SHILLONG, Dec 14 - Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma today said appropriate action would be taken against those indulging in illegal coal mining activities, while expressing hope that coal miners trapped inside a coal mine would be rescued.
“It’s an unfortunate incident. We are all concerned about the individuals and their lives. The NDRF and SDRF are doing all they can to save the lives of the miners,” Sangma said.
On Thursday, 13 miners were trapped inside an illegal rat-hole mine in East Jaintia Hills at a remote location. The miners were trapped after they hit the nearby river bed while digging deep inside.
Sangma said that the Government is aware of the illegal mining activities going on in the State. “We are aware that illegal activities are still going on and this is something that is not correct at all,” the CM said.
He said that “appropriate action would be taken at an appropriate time against people who are involved in illegal mining. This is not acceptable to us,” Sangma said.
A massive rescue effort is on, which is being conducted by the National and State Disaster Response Forces together with State police, at East Jaintia Hills district to get to the miners trapped in a freshly dug “rat-hole coal mine.”
The mine is located deep in the jungle, several kilometres from the district headquarters, Khliehriat of East Jaintia Hills at a place called Ksan. According to district SP, Sylvester Nongtynger, the miners were trapped probably after digging deeper than anticipated and hit the river bed.
“There is a stream (Lytein) 200 metres away from the hole that was dug about two-three days back. The miners kept on digging deep and probably hit the river bed resulting in flooding of the mine,” the SP said.