Pumps withdrawn from EJH mine site

Extraction process suspended as water level remains same

GUWAHATI: The process of extraction of water through pumps facilitated by the East Jaintia Hills district administration has been suspended on Monday morning with the “continuous” exercise rendered futile as the water level in the mine shaft, flooded up to 70 feet, “has not dipped an inch further”.

Operations to rescue at least 14 miners trapped in the rat hole mine by teams of the NDRF and SDRF continued for eleventh day on Monday.

“We followed the usual drill of checking the water level in the mine shaft but did not find any bodies floating. The water pumps which have been flushing out water continuously were stopped in the morning as the exercise has not been effective. They were withdrawn from the site later,” Santosh Kumar, assistant commandant of 1st Battalion NDRF, told The Shillong Times on Monday evening.

Apparently, there is anticipation among the teams at the site for the arrival of the high power submersible pumps from Coal India Ltd or other sources, as has been suggested to the East Jaintia Hills district administration by mining expert, Jaswant Singh Gill, who had inspected the site last Thursday.

“We will carry out the same drill tomorrow (Christmas day) as well. As of now, we are waiting for the submersible water pumps for the water extraction process to resume,” Kumar said.

A survey to ascertain the seepage points of the water, which has entered the mine from the river Lytein nearby, has been done by a team from the state government.

“Both the deputy commissioner and superintendant of police, East Jaintia Hills, were at the site today as well,” he said.

Meghalaya disaster management minister, Kyrmen Shylla, however, could not be contacted for an update on the future course of action as he was in a meeting when this correspondent called him on Monday evening.

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