On Wednesday, Congress President Rahul Gandhi made a fervent appeal to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to save 15 people trapped in a flooded coal mine in Meghalaya since December 13.
Rahul Gandhi also alleged the government was not organising high-pressure pumps for the rescue operation. He further accused Modi of instead posing for cameras and strutting on the Bogibeel bridge on the mighty Brahmaputra river in neighbouring Assam after inaugurating it on Tuesday.
In a tweet, Rahul Gandhi said, “15 miners have been struggling for air in a flooded coal mine for two weeks. Meanwhile, PM struts about on Bogibeel Bridge posing for cameras. His government refuses to organise high pressure pumps for the rescue. PM please save the miners.”
15 miners have been struggling for air in a flooded coal mine for two weeks.
Meanwhile, PM struts about on Bogibeel Bridge posing for cameras.
His government refuses to organise high pressure pumps for the rescue.
PM please save the miners. https://t.co/STZS62vTp4
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) December 26, 2018
It is to be noted that at least 15 miners are trapped since December 13 in a flooded “rat-hole” mine in Meghalaya. Attempts to rescue miners have been stopped due to the lack of equipment, mainly pumps to drain out water.
NDTV quoted officials as saying, “For more than a week, rescue workers have been waiting for ten 100-horsepower pumps to drain out water that keeps flooding the illegal mine in the East Jaintia Hills. “Those pumps are not available with the Meghalaya government.”
SK Sastri, a top officer of the National Disaster Response Force said, “We have not found anyone dead or alive. So we are waiting for support from the state government to carry on the rescue operation.”
“The operation will need going deep into 70-feet water. Divers of the NDRF can only go up to 40 feet deep,” he explained. “Without the pumps to drain out water, it will be impossible to resume the rescue effort,” the officer added.
Importantly, mining was banned in Meghalaya in 2014 after people said it was polluting water bodies.