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SHIL­LONG: It is ex­actly a month af­ter 15 min­ers have been trapped in an il­le­gal rat hole coal mine in Megha­laya's East Jain­tia Hills dis­trict. The chances of their res­cue con­tinue to re­main bleak as de­wa­ter­ing the mine has so far been a fu­tile ef­fort.

Sci­en­tists and top notch agen­cies, known for their work in un­der­ground mines of the coun­try, Sun­day ar­rived in the East Jain­tia Hills to step up ef­forts to res­cue the min­ers in what is per­haps the coun­try's long­est res­cue mis­sion.

Op­er­a­tion spokesper­son R Sus­ngi ssaid a team headed by a sci­en­tist and com­pris­ing ex­perts from Hy­der­abad-based Na­tional Geo­phys­i­cal Re­search In­sti­tute, Coun­cil of Sci­en­tific and In­dus­trial Re­search (NGIR-CSIR) and Grav­ity and Mag­netic Group, was at the spot.

Be­sides, a team each from the Ground Pen­e­trat­ing Radar (GPR) and Chen­nai-based Re­motely Oper­atated Ve­hi­cle (ROV) have ar­rived to step up the mis­sion, he said.

Till date, the de­wa­ter­ing of the 370-foot-deep mine where the min­ers are trapped has proved fu­tile as over 1 crore

litres of wa­ter has been pumped out of the main shaft in the past one month, but there has been no vis­i­ble change in the wa­ter

level, the of­f­cial said. An­other 2 crore plus litres of wa­ter was pumped out from the nearby aban­doned mines sus­pected to be con­nected to the mine where the min­ers are trapped, but the res­cuers are clue­less 'how' and 'where' the wa­ter is com­ing from, he said.

In the Khloo-ryn­gk­san area, where the ill-fated mine is lo­cated at the western side of a small hillock, the Lytein river criss­cross the val­ley for over 2 km. Ex­perts have been vis­it­ing the spot since De­cem­ber 20 for res­cu­ing the min­ers af­ter the news broke out at the na­tional level, but the huge wa­ter level in­side has foiled all their ef­forts.

Sus­ngi said se­nior sci­en­tist of CSIR-NGRI Devashish Ku­mar and his team have ar­rived for the op­er­a­tion.

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