Causes of death of six men in a coal mine accident in Nagaland | Latest India News

Causes of death of six men in a coal mine accident in Nagaland |  Latest India News

The recent tragic coal mine accident that claimed the lives of six migrant workers from Assam and injured four others on January 25 at Rushanyan in Nagaland under Woka district has once again highlighted the rampant illegal mining activities in the north-eastern state. The state Geology and Mining Department said that the accident was caused by a fire and methane gas explosion.

The illegal mine, which extends about 400 feet underground, is said to be owned by two local residents in collaboration with two other non-local residents. (representative image-HT file image)

An official statement issued on Wednesday, after inspection and based on administration records, said that the mine in Rochanyan was illegal because it was operated without obtaining the necessary permits from the administration.

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After a careful examination of the site, it was determined that the fire and explosion may have been caused by a friction spark while using a hand-held drilling machine.

The illegal mine, which extends about 400 feet underground, is said to be owned by two local residents in collaboration with two other non-local residents. The local owners were arrested on January 26 after a His movement The case has been registered at Bhandari police station while the other two are said to be absconding.

“The safest mode for (coal) mining is open-pit mining, but since it is very expensive and since the coal deposits here are not uniform, local coal miners are mainly turning to rat-hole mining which is permitted for license holders,” he says. Dr Kenilo Ringma, Head of the State Geological Wing.

Illegal coal mining, especially rat pit mining activities, is said to be rampant in Wuka, Mon, Mokokchung and Lungling areas.

The State Coal Policy which was notified in 2006 and amended in 2014 states: “Such rampant and illegal mining activities have led to various types of accidents, health risks, ecological and environmental degradation; besides loss of coal resources and leakages through process outlets have caused A huge loss of state revenues.

Under the coal policy, the government began issuing small deposit licenses (SPDL) to individual landowners for rat-hole mining.

The license is granted after conducting a physical survey and submitting an official geological report with deforestation and environment along with other documents for a period of one year where the intended mining area does not exceed two hectares, the annual coal production capacity does not exceed 1000 tons per year, and heavy mining machinery is not used for extraction.

However, the land ownership system in Nagaland is unique in that the land is owned by the people and is managed according to the traditional system and customary law of each tribe; Therefore, coal mining activities are traditionally carried out by community landowners or individuals with mining leases/licences, and the government’s role is limited to collecting royalties. Officials say people are reluctant to obtain licenses because they feel they can do whatever they want on their land.

Most of the illegal coal mining activities are done with the help of investors from the neighboring state of Assam.

In 2021, four migrant miners from Assam died in suspected gas poisoning inside a coal mine in Mokokchung district located between the Mangkulimba sub-district headquarters and the Longnak Valley.

Although coal mine accidents have different causes, one of the primary causes is the ignition of methane gas trapped in coal deposits, such as the recent case in Rushanyan, Ringma says.

He added that in many cases, miners light cigarettes while taking a break, or even the friction resulting from drilling, can quickly ignite and lead to a huge disaster.

The administration expressed concern over unplanned mining activities leading to accidents and loss of life, while saying it was doing its best to contain illegal mining. It also urged miners and coal mine land owners to cooperate and adhere to the guidelines set for mining to prevent future mine accidents.

Due to the special provisions under Article 371A of the Constitution, which vests ownership of land and its resources to the people, the state has its own mining rules, which include the Nagaland Small Mineral Concessions Rules 2005, the Nagaland Coal Policy 2006, the Nagaland Coal Mining Rules 2006, the Nagaland Mineral Concessions 2007 and Nagaland Coal (First Amendment) Policy 2014.

The expected coal reserve in Nagaland across various regions as of March 31, 2021, is 492.68 million tonnes. According to the Department of Geology and Mining, coal reserves in the state fall under small pocket deposits due to its inconsistency and irregular nature.

    (Tags for translation)Coal mine accident

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