New Delhi, January 4: While expressing its views, posing a strict outlook on the rescue operation of 15 trapped miners in Meghalaya, the Supreme Court, today, slammed the government stating that “The authorities failed to make serious efforts at the beginning when the miners were trapped in Meghalaya on December 14”.
The Court has also directed the Centre to submit a status report by January 7 on action taken and progress made in order to save trapped miners.
It is to be noted that, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta in the Supreme Court proclaimed that the coal mine is illegal and due to the absence of blueprint of the mine the search operation is complex. He further added, the trapped miners were unable to be reached even after the efforts made by specialized divers from Indian Navy to rescue them.
In a statement, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta further alleged that "Illegal mine located near the river and water seepage are hindering the rescue operation."
The court further expressing its dismay stated that workers should not suffer and for that actions should be taken against the illegal mine owners.
In the hearing held yesterday, the top court had knocked down Meghalaya Govt over its failure in rescuing trapped miners.
A two-judge bench comprising of Justice A K Sikri and S Abdul Nazeer questioned what steps are taken by the Meghalaya Government and why it was not successful in rescuing trapped miners and also why the help of Army is not taken into it.
The Court also stated that “Every second counts for those trapped in the mine and that it is a question of life and death,” further adding, “Dead or alive, they should be taken out”.
The court also made directions to the Solicitor General Tushar Mehta to study the matter without any delay and further directed him to notify its response on steps it intends to take to rescue the trapped miners.
The coal miners are trapped inside the flooded coal mine in ksan village, about 130 km from Meghalaya’s capital Shillong since 23 days, after water from the nearby Lytein river gushed into it. Even after three weeks, only three helmets have been recovered from the mine.