Kyrmen moots seeking SC’s directions on miners’ recovery mission

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Kyrmen Shylla

SHILLONG, Feb 06: Meghalaya’s Disaster Management Minister Kyrmen Shylla has informed that he will hold discussions with Chief Minister Conrad Sangma to approach the Supreme Court for further directions as a month and a half has passed since the rescue operations began at Ksan, East Jaintia Hills where 15 miners are trapped since December 13 last year with a disappointing outcome.

It may be noted here that rescue operations continue with not much headway being made in the location and recovery of most of the miners. Soon after a body was retrieved another was detected but attempts to retrieve the second body have not yielded any results so far.

Informing that the team of the Odisha Fire Services has been pulled out of the operations, Shylla said that they left on Wednesday morning as their services were no longer required as the high power pumps of the Coal India Limited and Kirloskar Brothers are in place.

Underscoring that despite attempts to dewater the shafts, the water level is not receding, Shylla said that around 100 to 200 pumps may be required to completely de-water the flooded mine which will come at a cost around Rs 100 crore.

He also informed that attempts are being made to retrieve the second body but water turbidity and the narrow space are making it all the more difficult.

“I will discuss with the Chief Minister to take a call on approaching the Supreme Court on the same for further directions,” said Shylla.

It may be mentioned that the water level has dropped only a few inches after hours of pumping and it eventually rises to the same level. The remotely operated vehicles of the Navy are not producing the desired results as the water is murky and the tunnels within the mine are narrow, providing very little space for navigation.