Rat hole mining: Why is the method controversial?

By Editorji News Desk
Published on | Nov 27, 2023

Rat miners called up

'Rat hole mining technique’ will now be used to bolster efforts to rescue the 41 workers trapped in the Uttarakhand tunnel.

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Rat hole mining, used in challenging terrains, involves digging small holes that fit only one person.

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The rat miners are tasked with manually clearing debris that blocks the rescue. The group will carry tools and life support devices.

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Why is it controversial?

Rat hole mining requires people to fit into tight, dark and usually dangerous pits. At least 23 deaths have been reported since 2018.

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Banned in Meghalaya

The National Green Tribunal banned the practice in Meghalaya in 2014, saying that it was ‘unscientific.’ No safety concerns were raised.

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The NGT cited ‘ecological and environmental damage,’ caused by the technique. It was called major source of air, water and soil pollution.

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It is majorly used while extracting and mining coal deposits. While it is banned, illegal rat hole mining is reportedly rampant in Meghalaya.

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