Lumthari mine tragedy
SHILLONG: As time is running out for 15 miners trapped in an illegal coal mine in Meghalaya’s East Jaintia Hills district since December 13, a delegation of Congress leaders will be inspecting the area on December 28, with an objective to find out the ground reality on the delay in rescuing the victims.
It may be mentioned that recently the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) divers, who have been carrying out search operations, had reported of a “foul odour” coming out of the pit.
The workers were trapped in the ‘rat-hole’ mine on December 13, after water from the nearby Lytein river gushed into it. While the water level in the mine has not receded, the rescue personnel have not attempted to pump out any water since Monday, as the two 25-HP pumps have proved ineffective.
Speaking to The Sentinel via phone, Mawsynram MLA and Congress Spokesperson HM Shiangpliang said, “There are around 6-7 of us who will be visiting the coal mine in which the miners are trapped because we what to understand the progress of the present rescue operation and we what to know the reason for the halt on the rescue operation just because there is a lack of water pumps.”
Some of the Congress MLAs to visit the area includes Ampareen Lyngdoh, M Rapsang, Shiangpliang, George B Lyngdoh beside others.
“I have spoken to the Deputy Commissioner of the effected district however the answer I got was nothing can be done without bigger pumps hence this is like a fact finding team,” he said.
When asked, Shiangpliang said, the DC has apprised the state government on the lack of bigger water pumps however has not received any response from the government.
“This is a very insensitive and careless attitude on the part of the state government. We are not trying to play politics with this issue but we are truly concern with the lives of the people trapped inside that coal mine,” he said.
He added, “We are very disappointed on the whole operation because no Minister nor any senior government officials had visited the site and everything has been left at the mercy of the deputy commissioner.”
He informed that the delegation of Congress leaders will move out from Shillong to Jaintia Hills from 9am in the morning from the MLA Hostel.