This practice which was illegal has now become a blessing for 41 workers.

Rat miners played an important role in the rescue operation - India TV Hindi

Image source: India TV
Rat miners played an important role in the rescue operation.

The operation to evacuate the workers in the Sulkiara tunnel in Uttarkashi is in its final stages. 41 laborers are stuck here for the last 17 days. All efforts were made to get them out safely. Experts and machines were brought from abroad. The American ogre rumbled on for several days, paving the way for a large number of workers to exit. But he also died at the last moment.

Now everyone was facing the same problem that the campaign which was giving positive results for so many days should fail. Now we may lose these 41 workers. At that moment, it is decided that the debris will be manually hit, however far away it may be. The method adopted for this work is illegal in our country. But to save the lives of these workers, the government did not hesitate to resort to this illegal method. There was only one reason behind it, to get 41 laborers out of the wreckage safely.

This illegal method is none other than rat mining.

This illegal method was none other than rat mining. This method was banned by the National Green Tribunal. But the government allowed this procedure only for this campaign. After getting permission, 12 teams of rat miners were deployed here on Monday. which is mining on a 24-hour rotation basis. They made a 10 meter path by hand drilling and pushed the pipe in and still these people are holding this position.

Uttarkashi Tunnel Operation

Image source: PTI

Uttarkashi Tunnel Operation

On Tuesday, NDMA member Lieutenant General (retd) Syed Atta Hasnain said during a press conference that rat mining is illegal but we are saving people’s lives this way. He said that all possible methods have been taken to evacuate the 41 laborers from the tunnel safely and special permission was given by the government for the same. He said that in this way we have come close to these workers and will achieve success soon.

What is rat mining?

It is a mining method used to extract coal from narrow areas. The term ‘rat hole’ refers to narrow holes dug into the ground. This pit is usually only for one person to get down and extract the coal. Once the pit is dug, miners use ropes or bamboo ladders to reach the coal seams. The coal is then extracted manually using primitive tools like picks, shovels and baskets.

Uttarkashi Tunnel Operation

Image source: PTI

Uttarkashi Tunnel Operation

In fact, there are many illegal coal mines in the Jaintia hill region of Meghalaya, but it is easy to directly employ laborers due to being on the hills and avoiding the need to carry machinery. Workers enter these mines lying down. Since the workers enter these mines like rats, it is called ‘rat mining’. In 2018, when 15 laborers were trapped in a mine in Meghalaya, the same rat mining was resorted to.

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