SHILLONG, Jan 5: Only three of the 13 high-powered pumps that have arrived on location are being used in the ongoing operations to rescue the 15 miners trapped in a flooded coal mine in East Jaintia Hills district in Meghalaya.
Admitting this, operation spokesperson R Susngi said that preparations were on to install another three pumps, a submersible pump from Coal India Ltd and two others from leading pump makers Kirloskar Brothers Ltd.
“More pumps will be used in the adjacent shafts and we hope that pumps from Coal India Ltd and Kirloskar Brothers Ltd are ready at the earliest so that they can also supplement the rescuing work,” Susngi said.
He also informed that CIL has installed the platform on the old shaft near the 370 foot-deep mine while adding that operation is expected to start immediately.
A team from Kirloskar is also preparing to lay the platform to keep their pumps on the main shaft and whenever the task is completed, the pump will begin to dewater, according to Susngi.
As efforts to search for and rescue the trapped miners entered the 23rd day on Friday, the efforts of pumping out of the water in the main shaft where the miners are believed to be stuck and in the nearby abandoned mines has not had any visible impact.
Three pumps brought by the Odisha Fire and Disaster service personnel were operational since Thursday and pumping of water took place from two nearby abandoned mines, they said.
“The water level in the nearby mines has remained somewhat stable and by evening the personnel will go down and measure,” the official said.
Susngi further informed that the Fire Service Odisha pump the water from the old shaft and the water receded by 3.5 ft which comes to around 900000 liters by using two pumps.
He said the Coal India Limited was able to insert its pump into the old shaft at 3:30 pm and fittings and connections of pipes is still going on. He also said that the pump is expected to be functional by Saturday morning.
Kirloskar were also able to put down their two pumps in the main shaft and connection of pipes also is done side by side. Pumping of water from the main shaft is also expected by Saturday.