Meghalaya government has informed the Supreme Court that the Indian navy has deployed five remotely-operated vehicles (ROVs) to rescue trapped miners on Friday.
A total of 15 miners are believed to have been trapped inside the mine since December 13. The mine got flooded when they were inside the mine. While five of the workers in operation managed to escape miraculously, the rest were believed to have been tapped.
The state government told a bench of Justices AK Sikri and S Abdul Nazeer that one crore litres of water has been pumped out so far from the illegal mine but seepage form nearby rivers was creating hurdles in the rescue operation, reports TOI.
The bench sought to know from the state’s counsel as to whether any action had been taken against those indulging in illegal mining activities there.
The counsel told the court that the person running the illegal mine where the incident took place had been arrested.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre, told the court that every possible step has been taken for the rescue operation and the Indian Air Force has deployed planes and helicopters for airlifting requisite equipment and manpower.
The bench has posted the matter to January 18 for further hearing.
The apex court is hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by Aditya N Prasad who has sought urgent steps to rescue 15 miners trapped in the illegal coal mine in Meghalaya’s East Jaintia Hills district.