Over 700 miners, who were reportedly trapped in underground coalmines on Tuesday following power outage across north and east India, have been rescued. Earlier, there were tense moments as some of these mines are considered gassy.
In West Bengal’s Asansol-Ranigunj coal belt, miners were trapped in some 20 mines, 10 of them gassy. DPSC Limited, which has been supplying power to three mines of Eastern Coalfields Ltd — Moyra, Chapuikhashi & Luchipur — provided life saving power on receiving an emergency call from ECL.
When contacted, DPSC Director Anup Bhargava said: “Every possible effort was put in by us to save the lives.” Chief Executive Officer Jyotirmay Bhawmik told The Hindu that DPSC, which is a distribution company, received power mostly from the Damodar Valley Corporation, and also from the West Bengal utilities.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee told reporters at the Secretariat that those trapped in the ECL mines were rescued. She said the State’s power situation was likely to become normal soon.
However, senior officials of Coal India Ltd said no one was trapped in the mines. For, such power failures were normal in these mines and there was seldom any threat to life; the miners were always brought up in time.
There was also confusion over the figure as CIL said the number of miners who got caught in Tuesday’s grid failure was about 200.
ECL, headquartered in Asansol, was one of the worst affected by the grid collapse, which also impacted underground mines at Bharat Coking Coal and Central Coalfields Ltd in Jharkhand. North Coalfields Ltd, headquartered in Singrauli in U.P., has no underground mine.