13 Feared Dead in Meghalaya Coal Mine

Prelims level : Policies, Acts and Amendments Mains level : GS 2: mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.
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  • At least 13 miners are feared dead in a coal mine accident in Meghalaya’s East Jaintia Hills district on Thursday.


  • District police officials said the miners were trapped inside the coal mine after they accidentally cut through an adjoining abandoned mine filled with water.
  • The National Green Tribunal has banned unscientific and unsafe rat-hole coal mining in Meghalaya since 2014. A case has been registered against unknown people for their involvement in the illegal mining of coal.

Few more details on coal mine deaths:

  • India has good safety record in open-cast mining, but when it comes to underground mining, safety record is extremely poor
  • There are also questions about the validity of Indian numbers given the large number of illegal wildcat mines where accidents, let alone fatalities, never make it to the official statistics
  • It has among the highest rates of fatalities and injuries in the coal industry from the collapse of roofs and walls in the world.
  • India also has unusually high incidents of accidents caused by the surface movement of heavy machinery – strictly speaking not even a consequence of actual mining activity but a clear sign of administrative failings.
  • Miners are also exposed to a number of hazards that adversely affect their health, including dust, noise, heat and humidity.
  • The problem of inadequate compensation is another debilitating factor

About National Green tribunal:

  • The National Green Tribunal has been established on 18.10.2010 under the National Green Tribunal Act 2010 for effective and expeditious disposal of cases relating to environmental protection and conservation of forests and other natural resources.
  • The responsibilities also include enforcement of any legal right relating to environment and giving relief and compensation for damages to persons and property and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.
  • It is a specialized body equipped with the necessary expertise to handle environmental disputes involving multi-disciplinary issues.
  • The Tribunal is not bound by the procedure laid down under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, is guided by principles of natural justice.
  • The Tribunal’s dedicated jurisdiction in environmental matters shall provide speedy environmental justice and help reduce the burden of litigation in the higher courts
  • The Tribunal is mandated to make and endeavor for disposal of applications or appeals finally within 6 months of filing of the same.
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