Meghalaya Rat Hole Mines: The ‘Wealthy’ Curse
Having a huge collection of coal underneath is not always helpful. The ‘Meghalaya experience’ shows how dangerous it can be.
Meghalaya is one of the richest states in terms of the availability of natural resources such as coal and limestone underneath.
Behind this story of wealth, there is an unpleasant story of the exploitation of labours. The state is known for rat hole mining. Each year, these holes take many innocent lives. The sad reality is that a considerable number of these deaths go unreported.
It is not that there is no law to stop this. It is only that the evil nexus exists between the mine owners and local politicians make it almost impossible for the administrations to impose the laws that are meant to ensure the safety of those work in these death holes.
A group of fifteen young workers from a rural village in Assam is the latest victim to the illegal ways some adopt to make money from these holes in Meghalaya.
The existence of these holes in the state has no legal validity. Actually, the unavailability of a proper legal framework to take care of the concerns of those work in these holes is the factor that makes things easier for the present day mine owners to flout all measures necessary to ensure the safety of their workers.
The ignorance that empowers the greedy to crush the life of innocents for their personal gain is not justifiable on any grounds.
If poverty is the factor that forces people to risk their lives in this death trap, mere ban is not a solution. Everything needed to stop the flow of workers to this trap must be done.
Any wealth that disturbs the peaceful existence of human beings, animals and mother earth is not a boon, but a bane. Think! It is not too late!
Vignesh. S. G
Photo Courtesy: Google/ images are subject to copyright