Operation to evacuate trapped Meghalaya miners not abandoned: Centre, state government tells Supreme Court

  • Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told the SC bench that it is a human tragedy and both central and state governments have done everything possible

  • Senior advocate Anand Grover, appearing for the petitioner, contended that he had learnt that rescue operation has been stopped

  • The petitioner also submitted a report and suggested some measures to rescue the miners

New Delhi: The Centre and the Meghalaya government informed the Supreme Court on Monday that the operation to evacuate the miners trapped in a coal mine in Meghalaya's East Jaintia Hills since 13 December, 2018, has not been abandoned.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told a bench headed by Justice AK Sikri that it is a human tragedy and both central and state governments have done everything possible.

 Operation to evacuate trapped Meghalaya miners not abandoned: Centre, state government tells Supreme Court

File image of the Supreme Court of India. PTI

"The possibility of someone being dead was there from 10 minutes after the tragedy occurred. The NDRF cannot be said to be lackadaisical,"  Mehta told the bench, after senior advocate Anand Grover, appearing for the petitioner, contended that he had learnt that rescue operation has been stopped.

The petitioner also submitted a report and suggested some measures to rescue the miners. The apex court has now posted the matter on 28 January for further hearing.

Meanwhile, Meghalaya government said it has filed a status report on the steps taken to rescue the miners.

"The state government has made every possible effort with promptitude and has deployed the requisite man-machinery at the site of the incident as expeditiously as possible," state of Meghalaya said in its status report.

It added, "During the course of the entire operation, the pumps have been constantly in use, however, the same has not resulted in any substantial decrease in the water levels. The further course of action as regards recovery of detected bodies and the pumping activities shall be decided on the basis of consultation between the medical team and Navy ROV team and the family members of the deceased miners."

Updated Date: Jan 21, 2019 20:06:30 IST