The Centre on Friday told the Supreme Court that the rescue operation of the trapped miners in Meghalaya is more difficult than the Thailand government’s extraordinary cave rescue operation last year.
Solicitor general Tushar Mehta told Justices AK Sikri and S Abdul Nazeer that the mines are over 350 feet deep and there is no blueprint of maze of rat holes inside mines where the miners are trapped so it is very difficult to locate them.
Mehta and Meghalaya’s advocate general Amit Kumar said that experts from National and State Disaster Response Force, Navy and Coal India were making all possible efforts to save the trapped miners, reports TOI.
Highlighting the Thailand cave rescue operation of a twelve member boy’s football team along with their coach who were rescued after being trapped inside for eighteen days, Mehta said that unlike Thailand, the Meghalaya mine have no sketch of its inside structure as it is illegal and thus rescue operations are being hampered.
“In Thailand case there was blueprint of the caves and water was clean but water inside mines is murky and divers cannot go beyond a particular depth. We have employed powerful water pumps, which take out water at the rate of 1800 litre per minute but the water level is not receding as it is connected to a nearby river and mines are 10 feet below the river,” he added.
Mehta also said that seepage of water from river cannot be stopped as the authorities have been unable to locate the source from where river water was coming inside mine.
However, senior advocate Anand Grover appearing for PIL petitioner countering the Centre’s stand, said that no high water pump has been deployed so far and there are no generators available at the site to provide electricity.
Grover also said that the Indian Space Research Organization(ISRO) has got technology to find out the location of trapped miners and the Centre should take its assistance.
However, the Supreme Court expressed satisfaction on the steps taken by the Centre after the hearing both the sides and agreed to monitor the rescue operation.