Mine mishap reminds poor safety measures in Singareni

K M Dayashankar


PEDDAPALLI: The mine mishap at SRP-3 underground mine which claimed four coal miners in Srirampur coal belt area in Mancherial district came as a grim reminder of the poor safety measures in the mines run by the Singareni Collieries Company Limited (SCCL).

In the quest to increase the coal production, the management is allegedly neglecting the safety precautions in all the underground and open cast projects located across 350 kilometers stretch of Pranahiva-Godavari valley. The Singareni was focussing only on production and productivity at the cost of the miners’ lives and the officials’ mental stress.

The state-owned coal company was increasing the annual coal production targets and failing to upgrade the technology and take necessary measures to reduce the accidents in the mines. The management was giving shift-wise targets right from the coal miner to the manager level and also area-wise targets causing mental agony and stress, the sources said.

Due to retirement of the senior coal miners, their experience and expertise in identifying roof falls and other mishaps in the underground mines had not been shared with the present younger generation. Earlier, the coal-cutters, coal-filler, timbermen, shot-firers and others were well acquainted about the UG mines and predicted the mishaps well in advance by alerting the officials to stop the excavation of the coal etc.

But, now the expertise knowledge was not shared to the present younger generations. Even the mining engineers were roped in, but they were also unable to analyse the possible mishaps because of lack of experience. The Singareni should have given training to the younger generation about the coal excavation and identification of mishaps with the support of the senior coal miners for the transformation of the knowledge, said a trade union leader in Godavarikhani.

S Kumar, a crusader for the protection of Singareni mines and BJP SC Morcha national secretary, said that the major accidents have come down in the Singareni. The management should also focus on ensuring zero accident rates in all the mines by analysing the situation in the mine by taking expert opinion before excavation of the coal, he said and flayed the Singareni for according priority for coal production at the cost of the miners’ lives.

He also alleged that the Directorate General of Mine Safety (DGMS) conducts periodical meetings on safety at all the mines by organising seminars and pass several resolutions. But, the Singareni do not follow the resolutions passed at the DGMS meeting, he alleged.

Telangana Boggu Ghani Karmika Sangham (TGBKS), the recognised trade union of Singerani, senior leader flayed the management for claiming that they were providing compensation ranging from Rs 70 lakhs to Rs 1 crore to the bereaved family members of the miners, who were killed in the mishap in SRP mine. The management is not giving anything extra and it was providing only the mandatory benefits to a bereaved family, he said and demanded the management to provide an ex-gratia of Rs 50 lakh to each bereaved family.

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