4 Killed in Coal Mine Accident in Nagaland in India
Morung Express News reported that four miners died in a suspected gas poisoning inside a coal mine in Mokokchung district in Nagaland in India on 16 March evening. The incident happened in a mine located on a steep hillside in the Atuphumi area. As per the report, three persons, who had gone in earlier in the day did not come out as expected. A fourth person went inside to check on the three. He also did not come out. By the time police and administration officials arrived at the site, the bodies were retrieved already. A case of death by negligence was registered. Meanwhile, mining was temporarily suspended
A recent report by Nagaland’s Public Accounts Committee highlighted that Nagaland has no mechanism in place to check the coal mines. The report showed that 44 coal mining units in Nagaland operated without permission. Records revealed that out of 49 coal mining units identified by the Nagaland Pollution Control Board, 44 had no authorisation and three other coal-mining units have been operating without Pollution Control Board’s consent
According to available government data, Meghalaya has a total coal reserve of 640 million tonnes, most of which is mined unscientifically by individuals and communities. The coal mining method practised in the state is mostly rat-hole mining, but some districts practise open-cast mining. Rat hole mining involves digging of very small tunnels, usually only 3-4 feet high, which workers (often children) enter and extract coal. The National Green Tribunal banned it in 2014, on grounds of it being unscientific and unsafe for workers.