Shillong: The Congress party took a dig at the ruling dispensation in the state on its alleged ‘insensitivity’ on tragic mine incident in East Jaintia Hills. More than fifteen coal miners are being trapped in the rat hole coal mines in Lumthari mines for the past two weeks.
The President of the All India Congress Committee (AICC) Rahul Gandhi took to twitter on Wednesday stating, “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 organize high pressure pumps for the rescue. PM please save the miners”. The tweet is an indirect satire against the NPP led government in the state for its inability to procure the high pressure pumps to seep out water from the inundated mines.
Adding further to the criticism against the NPP led government in the state, the AICC spokesperson Tzarita Laitphang told The Sentinel, “The state government insensitivity and callousness is very evident”.
“ Whether it’s illegal or legal mining, it’s the duty of the government to ensure that the lives of the people are saved”, she stated, while questioning the Union Governments’ alleged lethargic response to the incident that took place thirteen days ago. “The Union Government dispatched high pressure pumps to save the lives of people outside the country but refused to act in a similar manner in the country. Is north East not part of the Country”, The AICC spokesperson said.
The Chief Minister Conrad K sangma, already under fire for not having a single Minister to visit the tragedy site is reported to have gone on a holiday. As per the National electronic media report on Wednesday, he is said that the government is making all efforts and the question of withdrawing the operations is not in its mind. There is a need of ten high pressured pumps to seep out the water that continues to inundate the mines that the miners are trapped. Official source acknowledged the fact, stating that 12 lakhs of water was pumped out in 10 days but to no avail. While neither single minister nor the local MLA (belonging to the ruling front) has visited the site, members of the Congress legislature party will visit the accident site on Friday.
Meanwhile IANS adds, ‘Replying to Gandhi’s tweet, Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju blamed the negligence of the previous Congress government for the tragedy. “No politics on tragedy please, Rahul Gandhi. We have been helping the state government with all possible means. But the unsafe illegal mining activities were due to the negligence of the previous Congress government,” said Rijiju referring to the Congress which ruled the state before the Conrad Sangma-led National People’s Party came to power in March 2018.
The miners have been trapped in the flooded coal pit in East Jaintia Hills district since December 13. The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) team has been struggling to rescue them but the surging water level inside the 370-feet pit has been hampering the rescue efforts. The NDRF has used a sonar system and an underwater camera to detect the trapped miners. However, the system failed to locate any of those trapped in the main well due to poor visibility.