Home Economy Coal companies gear up to fill mines to avoid inundation

Coal companies gear up to fill mines to avoid inundation


Ranchi : With the onset of monsoon, coal companies in Jharkhand are gearing up to fill up the abandoned mines to avoid inundation and avert disasters.

The chances of mine disasters increase during the monsoon. Rain waters flood the abandoned mines and chances of seepage of the water to the working mines increase. Hundreds had died in the past from such inundation of working mines in Jharkhand.

"We have identified the accident prone mines. We have engaged high power pumps to drain out water from Murilidih and Lohapatti collieries. We are using sand bags to fill the open and underground mines so that inundation can be avoided," said an official of Bharat Coking Coal Limited (BCCL), a public sector undertaking engaged in coal mining.

"We are keeping a close watch on other mines operational under BCCL. We have identified nearly four mines where the filling work will be done," he said.

Central Coalfields Limited (CCL), a subsidiary of the state owned Coal India Limited, however, is yet to start work on filling the mines. Six CCL officials were booked for negligence in 2005 after an accident in Hazaribagh district.

"We are surveying the mines which need to be filled. The survey report is likely to come by the end of this month and then we will start work," said a CCL official.

The major mine disasters in Jharkhand include the Chasnala tragedy in 1975 that claimed 375 lives. In 2001, at least 29 miners lost their lives due to inundation of coalmines. According to reports, nearly 700 miners have lost their lives due to inundation in CCL and BCCL mines.