Shillong: The Shillong bench of the Gauhati High Court has registered a public interest litigation on the recent deaths of 15 coal miners in Meghalaya`s South Garo Hills.
The miners were trapped inside a mine at Nengkol in Rongsa Awe region of Nangalbibra, South Garo Hills last month. All the miners were feared dead.
"Human life is too precious. The rescue operations conducted by the state police and other organisations hitherto appeared to be too little and too late: none of those 15 miners were apparently rescued alive. We are constrained to intervene since this is not the first incident of this kind in Meghalaya," the high court stated Wednesday while registering suo-moto public interest litigation in relation to the July 6 incident.
Meghalaya has a coal reserve of 640 million tonnes. The coal is high in sulphur content and is mostly of sub-bituminous type.
Most of this coal reserve is mined unscientifically by individuals and local communities. Due to unscientific coal mining, the water sources of many rivers, especially in Jaintia Hills district, have turned acidic.
The Court asked Meghalaya advocate general of K.S. Kynjing to obtain report from the Chief Secretary as to what steps have been taken by the State Government to enquire into the circumstances which led to the tragedy.