'Truth spoken without moderation reverses itself'
This blog is a source for intellectual exploration. It includes a list of alternative resources and a source of free books. The placement of an article does not imply that I agree with it, merely that I found it thought-provoking. There are also poems and book reviews. Texts written by me are labelled. Readers are free to re-post anything they like.
Monday, January 2, 2017
Jharkhand coal mine collapse: Eleven workers killed, over 50 trapped // Jharia coal field has been burning for 100 years
Eleven workers died
and over 50 others were feared trapped when an open-cast coal mine at Paharia
Bhodaye in Jharkhand’s Godda district collapsed on Thursday night. The mining operation,
which forms a part of the Eastern Coalfields Limited’s Rajmahal Opencast
Project, was outsourced to the Mahalaxmi Company. Sources said work at the mine
had resumed barely three days ago.
Police said the
incident occurred during the shift change late on Thursday, and rescue
operations could not be launched until the following morning due to fog and low
light conditions. “The rescue operation was launched at 6 am on Friday. Eleven
bodies have been taken out so far. We are focusing on saving the people still
trapped inside the mine,” said Godda superintendent of police Hira Lal Chauhan.
police officer Abhishek Kumar said an FIR would be lodged against the company,
as per “normal procedure”. The workers who died
in the incident were identified as Sanjay Kumar from Ranchi; Javed Akhtar from
Garhwa; Brajesh Yadav and Rajendra Yadav from Ballia in Uttar Pradesh;
Harikishore Yadav and Sakil Khan from Siwan in Bihar; JP Rai and Nageshwar
Paswan from Muzaffarpur in Bihar, and Ajit Patel, Vikas Patel and Nurul Hassan
from Madhya Pradesh. Tala Marandi, BJP
legislator from Borio, told HT that over 50 workers were still trapped in the
mine, which was nearly 300 metres deep. “It may take several months to dig them
all out. About 26 Volvo trucks and six to seven bulldozers are still inside,”
However, there seemed
to be some disagreement over the number of people trapped in the mine. While
Godda dub-divisional officer SK Pandey revealed the company’s estimate as 17,
Indian National Trade Union Congress general secretary AK Jha said “as many as
80 workers – including vehicle operators – were working at the site on the
by the Mahalaxmi Company wouldn’t allow the authorities to take away the bodies
unless firm officials, who have reportedly absconded, were brought to the site.
Two teams of the National Disaster Response Force from Kahalgaon and Patna were
assisting Eastern Coalfields Limited personnel in rescuing trapped workers.
Marandi blamed lack of
safety measures at the mine for the tragedy. “The workers had raised objections
in this regard. They even refused to work, but were forced by the management to
do so,” he said. Choppers were sought
from the state government to airlift workers rescued from the mine. Chief
secretary Rajbala Verma and director general of police DK Pandey visited the
site to monitor the operation. Chief minister
Raghubar Das announced a compensation of `2 lakh each for the deceased’s
families, and `25,000 for the injured. Coal and renewable energy minister
Piyush Goyal tweeted that an ex-gratia of `5 lakh would be paid for each person
killed, in addition to compensation under the Workmen’s Compensation Act.
Hot as Hell is a documentary series that
seeks to explain why underground fires — literally and metaphorically — are
raging in and around the township of Jharia in Dhanbad district of Jharkhand
for so many years. At a literal level, tens of thousands of residents of the
town are living on top of a veritable inferno. At a metaphorical level, there
are powerful mafia organisations that rule over this region and exploit the
underprivileged — by mining illegally, supervising organised pilferage, running
extortion rackets and bagging lucrative contracts. The documentary series
attempts to explain Jharia's apocalyptic 'resource curse'. Documentary film Hot as Hell