The Directorate General of Mines Safety (DGMS) has said they will be taking “appropriate action”, following review of Eastern Coalfields Ltd’s Lalmatia mine, where 18 people died in a mound crash.
“We are carrying out review of the mine and after that we’ll take appropriate action as per statutory provisions,” Director General (DG) of DGMS Rahul Guha said. The incident, which killed 18 people, occurred on December 29 when a massive mound of earth came crashing down on excavators at Lalmatia open cast coal mine, the worst such disaster in over a decade.
Watch What Else Is Making News
Meanwhile, officials maintained that as per preliminary observations, DGMS was displeased with what appeared to be wilful ignorance of early warning signs and that officials hadn’t taken appropriate corrective actions to avert the incident.
Among the actions that can be initiated as per provisions of the mine safety act are prosecutions in the court of law, suspension or cancellation of certificates of the responsible mining engineers and not allowing mine to carry out further mining unless corrective measures are taken. Cancellation of Mining licence is also within the purview of DGMS.
The 17 million tonne per annum capacity mine is not fully closed for mining and the status is unlikely to change in near future, DGMS officials indicated.
ECL is an arm of Coal India Ltd, which is expected to lose 2 million tonne production each month in the peak production season of the fourth quarter of fiscal FY’17. As CIL is facing sluggish demand, production hit at the Lalmatia mine is unlikely to have any adverse impact on meeting demand of the fossil fuel.