Rescue operations in progress in coal mine in East Jaintia Hills Credit: EastMojo Image

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday said that high-powered pumps should be installed immediately to de-water the coal mine in Meghalaya’s East Jaintia Hills where 15 people have been trapped since December 13 last year.

The apex court also issued show cause notice to the mine owner saying it would consider granting compensation to the family members of the victim as prima facie responsibility and liability of the mishap lies with him.

The SC was hearing a petition which had sought urgent steps for rescuing the miners trapped in the illegal rat-hole mine in Ksan village.

A bench of Justices AK Sikri and SA Nazeer said that it is an accepted fact that illegal mining was going on in the region. It asked the Meghalaya government to serve show cause notice to mine owner Jrin Chullet.

During the hearing, the bench observed that there was no point in having 100-hp pumps stalled at the site for de-watering the mine as it was not going to bring the desired result due to the passage of time of over two months.

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