Meghalaya Cabinet discusses rescue operation of trapped miners

Shillong, Jan 16: The Meghalaya Cabinet on Wednesday discussed the ongoing rescue operations to trace the 15 miners, who are trapped inside an illegal flooded coal mine for more than a month now.

Chief Minister Conrad Sangma, who also handles the Mining and Geology department, and Home Minister, James Sangma, apprised the Cabinet about the latest situation as far as the rescue operations at Ksan village in State’s East Jaintia Hills district.

“Till today, the rescue operation is still. In the next few days, the district administration and concerned department will sit with the experts who are in the ground zero to assess the situation. They tried their best and they are doing it till today. Let us see for how many more days,” Deputy Chief Minister, Prestone Tynosng told journalists.

Asked on the possibility of calling off the rescue operation, he said, “Till this moment the experts are still on the job. Until and unless we get their views from experts we cannot say anything. Once that is done, then we will accordingly file affidavit in Supreme Court.”

The Supreme Court-monitored rescue operation is aimed at taking out the trapped miners “dead or alive”.

On the expenditure incurred till date in the rescue operation, the Deputy Chief Minister said, “We are yet to know the detail expenditure involved for the operation and this has been handled by the district administration.”

Meanwhile, the Coal India Limited has informed the district administration that the water level at the main shaft where the 15 miners are trapped and the abandoned shafts remained the same despite several million gallon of water has been pumped out.

The Indian Navy lowered the underwater remotely operated vehicle at the main shaft but failed to capture any of the trapped miners.

Scientists from the Hyderabad-based National conducted the micro gravimetric measurement and differential position profile system to identify the seepage of water in the main shaft.

Experts from the Chennai-based Plenys technology continue to conduct the sonar mapping of the shaft and to identify the rat-hole tunnel.

Meghalaya Day Award

Speaking to reporters after the Cabinet meeting, Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong said that the committee has recommended three prominent personalities for the Award.

Dr P Nongtdu, the Principal of Jaiñtia Eastern College was chosen to receive the U Tirot Sing Award for arts and literature. Nongtdu had written quite a number of books and articles.

Rev George Mamalasari, former Bishop of Tura Diocese, has been selected for the Patogan Sangma Award for social service for his contribution towards the upliftment of tribal people.

Eugene K Marak, a renowned Taekwondo player and master coach, will be presented with the U Kiang Nangbah Award for his excellence in sports.

Republic Day:

The state Cabinet also approved the list of VIPs who will be hoisting the national flag and take the salute on Republic Day in the state.

Governor Tathagata Roy and Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma will hoist the national flag and take the salute at Shillong and Tura respectively.

Home Minister James K Sangma will take the salute at Mawkyrwat, and other ministers which include Sniawbhalang Dhar will take the salute at Nongpoh, Lahkmen Rymbui at Jowai, Comingone Ymbon at Khliehriat, Banteidor Lyngdoh at Mairang, AL Hek at Ampati, Samlin Malngiang at Williamnagar, Kyrmen Shylla at Baghmara, and Hamlet Dohling at Resubelpara.

Pay revision:

The state Cabinet has approved the proposal to implement the pay revision to the teaching and non-teaching staff of nine deficit pattern secondary schools in the state based on the recommendations of the Fifth Pay Commission and this will be with effect from January 1, 2017.

An additional expenditure would increase by 2.5 crore annually with the implementation of the pay revision.

The cabinet has also approved the proposal to merge the national pension scheme for the employees of the Meghalaya Board of School Education (MBOSE), who at present are entitled to contributory provident fund (CPF).

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