Government Announces Safety Audit for All Mines

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Representative image. Credit: Reuters

Representative image. Credit: Reuters

Kolkata: The government today announced safety audit for all 418 mines in the country in the wake of one of the worst open cast mine disaster under Rajmahal, killing at least 18 people.

“We held a review meeting with Coal India and there we have taken few decisions on mine safety. We have also decided to carry out a detailed investigation on the accident. A mine safety audit of all the mines will also be undertaken,” union power minister Piyush Goyal said here today stating that the government was committed to a zero-accident target.

Speaking after the CII National Council Meeting, he said the audit would be carried out by the director-general, mining safety on a priority basis based on the size of the mines.

Goyal said first 58 large mines of the country would be covered where annual composite overburden production is between one to five million cubic metres.

External expert’s inputs may be taken, like the Central Institute of Mining and Fuel Research and others, the minister said.

Safety actions like anti-collision system for dumpers, electronic tele-monitoring systems, geo-technical cells in Coal India mines for slope stability and gas monitoring systems among others had been taken, he said.

Goyal said that the ministry was committed to spend on forewarning equipment at mines.

He said the government was trying to implement a policy for the usage of large equipment and dumpers, making man shelters at all mines.

However, government is not taking any hasty decisions to change the MDO policy over the accident.

“We have ordered an investigation on the accident and let the report come,” Goyal said when asked whether the accident would have any impact on the MDO policy.

Paying condolences to the deceased, the minister said an ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakh had been announced and teams had rushed to reach out to the families.

According to him, 18 people had died but rescue operations are underway.

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