Meghalaya: Ksan rescue ops suspended; Govt awaits SC’s nod to call off operations


SHILLONG | June 07, 2019:

The rescue operations of the trapped miners has been suspended for almost a month due to incessant rain and the rise in the water level of Lyntein river which is adjacent to the coal mines at Ksan village in East Jaintia Hills.

"The generator sets, pumps, pipes and other materials haves submerged due to the increase in the water level by eight feet. With the monsoon season setting in, the materials belonging to the Army have also submerged in water. We will probably be able to retrieve the equipments only during the winter," a senior government official informed here today. 

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It may be recalled that it has been almost six months since the rescue operations for the trapped miners began. Till date, they have managed to trace three bodies and successfully extracting two bodies from inside the mines.

Meanwhile, the senior government official informed that the rescue teams which include the NDRF, SDRF, local police and hired labourers are not able to resume the rescue operations since the entire area is under water. As of now, over 108 crore litres of water has been pumped out. "But this effort of pumping out of water did not fructify as the mines would be flooded again the next day. We are facing a very difficult situation," a senior government official said.

Meanwhile, the senior government official also said that almost 4 crore has been spent in the rescue operations. "We are waiting for the Supreme Court to hear the plea of the State Government to call off the operations. The next date of hearing is likely to be held on July 1," a senior government official added.

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Earlier, Meghalaya Chief Minister, Conrad K Sangma had said that the Government is hopeful that the Supreme Court would accept the appeal for calling off the rescue operations.

"We have appealed before the Supreme Court for calling off the rescue operations. We are waiting for the apex court to give its ruling on this matter," Chief Minister had stated. According to Conrad, now it is obviously clear there are no survivors. 

"This operation has been a difficult one for all the stakeholders and I hope that we will get relief and we will be allowed to stop," Meghalaya Chief Minister had said.

Earlier, the state government had petitioned the Supreme Court to consider calling off the operations and also submitted no objection certificates from family of the miners to call off the operations. The matter is listed for hearing in the month of July in the Supreme Court after the vacation.

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