ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Mine Safety: Record of Negligence

Record of Negligence The safety record of coal mining in India, which provides a livelihood to more than half a million people in the country, continues to be abysmal with mining operations being carried out in blatant violation of the Coal Mines Regulation Act. This is in spite of the existence of an elaborate multi-level safety structure, from the Internal Safety Organisation, and other sundry internal safety committees of Coal India (CIL), the public sector behemoth, to the office of the Directorate General of Mines Safety (DGMS) that is supposed to oversee implementation and compliance with safety regulations. Characterised by low productivity, poor technological standards and environmentally damaging practices, Indian coal production, 82 per cent of which is accounted for by CIL, falls much behind that of developed country counterparts. Given the acute shortage of coal being experienced at the moment and rising production targets, the indifference to safety standards can only be feared to be worsening.

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