Shilong: The Gauhati High Court has sought a report from the Meghalaya government on the recent mine mishap which claimed lives of 15 miners and also on the steps taken to ensure safety of miners in the state.
A PIL on the coal mishap was registered following a note from the Registrar of the Shillong bench of the High Court who presented newspaper reports to the court on the incident.
Accepting the PIL on the mishap, the Shillong bench of the court in a directive on July 31 asked the state government to submit the report in the form of an affidavit by August 28.
Observing that the death of 15 miners once again highlighted the depressing conditions in which they worked, the court said, "It is not exactly known as to what actions have been taken by the state government to improve the working conditions and safety of coal miners."
The court also asked the state government to present a report on the steps taken to inquire into the circumstances which led to the tragedy. The report will have to mention the identity of the miners who are feared dead and whether any ex-gratia payment was made to their families.
The court underlined the importance of framing a mining policy for the state and observed that human life is too precious.
It noted that the rescue operations, conducted by the state police and other organizations hitherto, appeared to be too little, too late as none of those 15 miners were rescued alive.