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3 Women Buried Alive In Crater After Land Subsidence In Jharkhand’s Dhanbad District

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Three women tragically lost their lives when they were engulfed by sinking land in Jharkhand's Dhanbad district, as reported by local authorities on Monday. The district administration promptly summoned officials from the National Disaster Response Force ( NDRF ) to recover the bodies.

This unfortunate incident unfolded on Sunday evening in close proximity to the Gondudih Khas Kusunda Colliery , an operation managed by Bharat Coking Coal Limited , a subsidiary of the public sector entity Coal India Limited in Jharia, Dhanbad. The exact circumstances leading to the women's demise remain unclear.

Dhanbad Deputy Commissioner Varun Ranjan provided insight into the situation, stating, "The incident happened yesterday, and the police and the administration rushed to the spot. We have recovered one body. However, parts of the two bodies have been taken out, and the NDRF is on the spot to get the remaining parts."

When asked whether the women had ventured out due to a lack of toilet facilities when the incident occurred, Ranjan responded, "We are not aware of this."

It is important to note that residents in the area are slated for relocation according to the Jharia master plan, and efforts are underway to facilitate this transition, as emphasised by Ranjan.

According to information available on the Ministry of Coal's website, the Jharia coalfields have grappled with the issue of subsidence, primarily attributed to "unscientific mining carried out by the erstwhile mine owners over more than 200 years of operations prior to nationalisation."

In response to this safety concern, local authorities declared the affected areas unfit for habitation. Subsequently, in 1996, a high-level committee was established to address the situation. Based on the committee's recommendations, a comprehensive master plan was formulated, encompassing strategies to contend with fires, subsidence, and rehabilitation, along with "diversion of surface infrastructure within the leasehold areas of ECL (Eastern Coalfield Limited) and BCCL (Bharat Coking Coal Limited)." Regrettably, the process of rehabilitation remains incomplete.
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