Shillong: After failing to make any headway in recusing five miners who have been trapped in one of the illegal coal mines in Meghalaya for 12 days, the State government has reportedly sought help from the Navy. A dynamite explosion in the East Jaintia Hills district caused sudden flooding in the mine where the labourers were at work.
Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma informed about the crisis by writing to the Ministry of Defence seeking the Navy's help to bring the trapped miners out, apart from exploring all other options.
The national disaster teams NDRF, SDRF and the Fire Service have reportedly deployed over 100 men for the rescue operation but their efforts could not make any improvement so far due to the high water level.
The rescue teams are believed to have been waiting for the water level to come down below about 10 meters in depth as the present high water level makes the rescue operation difficult.
Despite the National Green Tribunal's blanket ban on rat-hole coal mining across the state, several such mines are operating in violation of the order. Police have arrested the owner of the coal mine and charged him for violation of the NGT order banning unscientific mining and transportation of coal.
Meghalaya is estimated to have coal deposits of about 560 million tonnes.