13 mining workers are feared to be dead in the coal mine in Meghalaya on December 13. Water has inundated into the underground coal mine. The rat hole mining – a term used to denote illegal coal mining because of its shape and size has been under operation in the East Jaintia Hills district in the North-Eastern state.
Search and rescue personnel have swung to action pumping out water after being alerted by the district authorities. The Superintendent of Police, Sylvester Nongtynger said, “NDRF and SDRF teams have started work. We have registered a case against the owner of the mine. It was a deep mine.
Rat hole mining, a common mining practice in Megahalya has been outlawed by the National Green Tribunal in 2014. In November, social activists were attacked while pointing out illegal coal mining operation.
The North-Eastern state has around 640 million tonnes of coal reserve.