High degree of mechanisation is required in the mining industry today to enhance production and take the country forward in the path of development, S.J. Sibal, Director General of Mines Safety, Dhanbad, said here on Sunday.

A huge expansion in the mining industry is essential to elevate the country’s growth level, he said, speaking at the final day function of the Mines Safety Week Celebrations organised jointly by the Tamil Nadu & Kerala Mines Safety Association, Tiruchi Zone and Dalmia Cement (Bharat) Limited (DCBL), Dalmiapuram.

With mines getting deeper and deeper, there is a definite need to go in for high degree of mechanisation and use of bigger machines, coupled with a well-trained work force which would significantly boost our production capability, Mr. Sibal said.

Making a comparison between India and China, Mr. Sibal said coal production of both countries were the same some years ago. The situation had changed over the years with China’s coal production now being 2,700 million tonnes, while India’s coal production was 500 million tonnes, he pointed out.

Mr. Sibal said though best practices were being followed in the organised sector in China’s coal mining industry, the number of accidents taking place in the unorganised sector was huge in that country.

Alongside mechanisation, equal emphasis should also be given to the safety and health of workers engaged in the mining industry. The working condition of workers engaged by contractors was not good at present, he observed.

Periodic medical examination of all workers including those engaged on contract basis should be done to ascertain their health condition. Laying emphasis on having a good and well-trained work force in the mining industry, he said plans were afoot to start a training centre at Neyveli and Chennai by the Neyveli Lignite Corporation and Oil and Gas Natural Commission respectively.

The training centre would impart periodic training to the work force on various aspects connected with mine safety, he said. Earlier, Mr. Sibal released a souvenir on the occasion.

In his keynote address, Mr. B.P. Ahuja, Director of Mines Safety, Chennai said barring fatal accidents in three or four mines in Tamil Nadu, there had not been fatal accidents in others.

Stating that some mines prefer not to be notified, he called upon owners of such mines to get notified. This would enable them to get good guidance and know the safe practices and methods to be followed in mines so as to have a safe working atmosphere.

Accidents in mines due to technical reasons had been eliminated, he said, adding that accidents occurred due to human failure. Periodic training of the work force is essential to maintain a safe working environment, he said.

T. Venkatesan, Chief Executive Officer & Whole Time Director, DCBL, J.V. Gungune, Executive Director, DCBL and M. Daniel Jeyakumar, secretary, Tamil Nadu and Kerala Mines Safety Association spoke on the occasion.

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