Mine Owners Should be Held Accountable for Meghalaya Mishap: SC

The Supreme Court is seeking a status report of the rescue operations by 7 January.

2 min read

The Supreme Court on Friday, 4 January, asked the Centre and the Meghalaya government to file a status report, by 7 January, on the progress of the rescue operation for the 15 trapped miners.

These miners have been trapped in an illegal, flooded coal mine in Meghalaya's East Jaintia Hills since 13 December 2018.

The Supreme Court also came down heavily on the state government regarding the mine owners being held accountable.

“Why should the workers suffer?”
Supreme Court

The Supreme Court, on Thursday told the Meghalaya government that it was “not satisfied” with the way rescue operations were being carried out.

‘Dead or alive, they should be taken out’, the court reportedly told the Meghalaya government.

The Supreme Court had appointed Solicitor General Tushar Mehta to look into the matter urgently and apprise the court of the steps taken by Friday, 4 January.

Following the court's order, Mehta told the Supreme Court that the illegal mine has not been maintained properly, and that no blueprints of the mine are available with the government.

Looking at the illegal coal mining situation, the National Green Tribunal imposed a fine of Rs 100 crore on the Meghalaya government for its failure to curb illegal coal mining in the state.

The Tribunal imposed Rs 100 crore fine on the state government as a "deterrent" and for its "inaction" to curb illegal mining in the north eastern state.

The lawyer said during the hearing, the state government admitted that a large number of mines were operating illegally.

The 15 miners have been trapped inside a 370-foot coal mine in East Jaintia Hills district in Meghalaya since 13 December 2018, after water from a nearby river gushed in, puncturing the mine wall.

(With inputs from PTI and ANI.)

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