Opposition slams MDA on Ksan coal mining tragedy

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SHILLONG, April 17: The Opposition Congress has attacked the ruling MDA coalition for not taking serious and immediate steps when it was required to alter the current situation the state is faced with in regards to the Ksan coal mining tragedy that occurred on December 13 last year.

“The coal mining tragedy has already been five months. I was the first person to raise this issue and initially the state government did not show any type of seriousness or else things would have been different today,” said Congress MLA from Rajabala, West Garo Hills, Dr Azad Zaman on Wednesday while further adding, “Rahul Gandhi tweeted to Narendra Modi and only after that the state government started sending central agencies to involve in rescue operation.”

Zaman was reacting to the state government’s decision to make an appeal before the Supreme Court to discontinue the rescue operations as it is not yielding any positive results.

“The state government had not given enough importance and they maybe miners but everybody’s life is precious,” he added.

The ongoing rescue operations are nearing the fifth month and so far only two bodies have been retrieved. Despite continuous efforts of multiple agencies the bodies of the remaining miners have not been retrieved.

Pointing out that with so many months gone by there is no chance of retrieving the bodies and even if they are able to do so it would be just skeletons, Zaman said that it is now up to the Supreme Court to continue or call off the rescue operation.

Suggesting that instead of spending lot of money on the rescue operators it should be utilized for the welfare of the bereaved families, Zaman said that initially he had demanded Rs 10 lakh as compensation but now the family members of the miners from Garo Hills who he interacted with are asking for Rs 20 lakh.

It may be mentioned that earlier an interim relief of Rs 2 lakh was given to the family of the trapped miners.