New Delhi, January 3: The Supreme Court while expressing its concern in the matter of Trapped Meghalaya Miners listed for hearing today, knocked down Meghalaya Govt over its failure in a rescue operation of 15 miners trapped in mine since December 13.
A two-judge bench comprising of Justice A K Sikri and S Abdul Nazeer termed it as a serious issue and further questioned as to 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 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 gave directions to the Solicitor General Tushar Mehta to supervise the matter without any delay and further directed him to notify the court by tomorrow, in respect of the steps taken in the matter to rescue the trapped miners.
The counsel appearing on the behalf of the State told the court that adequate steps have been taken by them to save and rescue trapped miner.
The Meghalaya government further informed the court that a multi-agency operation has been launched and that 72 NDRF personnel, 14 Navy personnel and Coal India officials are working near the mine.
The present hearing was scheduled after a plea filed by Advocate Aditya N Prasad urged that it should be asked to the centre and the state government to use the expertise of the Indian Army, Indian Navy and the Indian Air Force in the rescue operation.
The coal miners are trapped inside the flooded coal mine in Ksan village, about 130 km from Meghalaya’s capital Shillong since 22 days, after water from the nearby Lytein river gushed into it. Even after three weeks, only three helmets have been recovered from the mine.