Other States

It is a question of livelihood: owners

Rescuers work at the site of a coal mine that collapsed in Ksan, in Meghalaya.   | Photo Credit: REUTERS

An association of coal miners and dealers in Meghalaya has sought legalisation of mining for sustenance of the local economy and the livelihood of thousands of people.

“We have moved the Supreme Court for allowing legal and scientific mining,” Balios Swer, president of Jaintia Coal Miners and Dealers’ Association, said on Monday. “We appreciate lber Laloo for standing with the affected coal mining community by filing the case in apex court.”

In April 2014, the National Green Tribunal had banned rathole coal mining in Meghalaya.

“Coal miners did not initially understand the impact of the ban as NGT as well as Supreme Court allowed the transportation of the already extracted coal,” said Mr. Swer. “But the ban has continued for so long, and the government has done nothing to help the affected miners cope.”


The ban had become a “cancer and killed the hope for a better future” of the children of those involved in coal mining, the association asserted. “Employment generation is nil, food security and job security is nil in Meghalaya. So people are left with no other choice but to struggle to live and sacrifice their lives to earn bread and butter for their children,” Mr. Swer said.

“Recent incidents at Ksan and Jaliyah villages are unfortunate. and we condemn the mineowners for sending labourers to work during the ban and exposing them to unexplainable risks. Law should prevail and such people should not be spared,” the association said.

Meanwhile, Navy divers on Monday deployed an underwater remotely operated vehicle in the main shaft of the mine, where 15 miners have been trapped since December 13, after Coal India Limited personnel pumped out 2.27 lakh litres of water.

Odisha Fire Service personnel had also used pumps to drain some 1.8 lakh litres of water from adjoining and interconnected old shafts.

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Printable version | Oct 21, 2020 5:24:45 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/it-is-a-question-of-livelihood-owners/article25934581.ece

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