The Supreme Court has agreed to hear a petition seeking adequate manpower and equipment for rescuing miners on Thursday, who are trapped in an illegal flooded coal mine in Meghalaya’s East Jaintia Hills since December 13 last year.
A two-judge bench, headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul has agreed to hear the matter on Thursday.
The petition was filed by lawyer Aditya N Prasad, seeking a direction from the Central government and other authorities to prepare a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for the rescue operations.
Senior lawyer Anand Grover, who raised the issue in the Apex Court on Wednesday, expressed concerns over the fact the SOP and other apparatus are missing during the search operation.
As many as 15 miners have been trapped in a 370-feet deep illegal mine in Lumthari village since December 13, when the water from the nearby river Lytein flooded the mine.
Since then, more than a fortnight has passed and rescuers are struggling hard to pump out water from the inundated mine.
Last week, the divers of Indian Navy, who went inside the inundated mine, in search of the 15 trapped miners returned disappointed after diving up to 70 feet deep.
Along with the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), 20-member team of Odisha Fire Service is engaged in rescue operations.
The Odisha Fire Service team is equipped with 15 high-pressure pumps to drain out water from the mine in which the miners are trapped.