LUCKNOW The rocky terrain of Jhansi in Bundelkhand area has produced a technology of ‘rat-hole miners’ who’ve experience in burrowing manually by way of arduous blocks of stones. A staff from this a part of UP was roped in for handbook drilling of the Silkyara tunnel to evacuate the 41 staff trapped inside for 17 days.
After components of a US-made auger machine, which drilled up to 46.8 metres by way of the particles bought caught in the rubble on Friday, officers managing the rescue operation opted for the ‘rat-hole’ mining approach. A staff of six ‘rat miners’ from Jhansi – outfitted with hammers, trowels and shovels – teamed with the Indian Military to rescue staff from the tunnel and managed to minimize by way of the final 12 metres inside 24 hours.
Rat-hole mining is a primitive methodology of extracting coal deposits by way of slim and horizontal passages in Meghalaya. The time period “rat gap” refers to the slim pits dug into the floor, sometimes simply giant sufficient for one individual to descend into and extract coal. The identify comes from its resemblance to rats burrowing by way of slim holes.
“Jhansi is situated on rocky plateau…it’s dominated by rocky reliefs and arduous granite beneath. Rock cutters settled in the rural space of the area use conventional methodology to minimize rocks to make wells and ponds. When explosives can’t be used to blast the rocks, miners use their experience to dig into the rock to make wells,” stated Professor SP Singh, a school at the Institute of Earth Sciences, Bundelkhand College.
Virendra Singh, who runs a stone quarry in Jhansi, stated the rat miners (popularly known as ‘khagars in Bundelkhand area) come from varied communities together with Ahirwar, Kushwaha, Lodhi, Sahariya, Koris and their service is utilized in quarrying, development of underpass, wells and ponds.
“They’ll break 10 quintal rock with hammers and shovels. An organization had demanded ₹15 lakh for developing a passageway utilizing a machine in my village by way of rocky terrain. However the rat miners constructed the passageway in ₹2.50 lakh,” he stated.
“Rock mining is a household career. Authorities businesses and contractors rent us to minimize rocks in the arduous terrain space the place machines/explosives usually are not used. Villagers additionally rent us to assemble wells, set up hand pumps and ponds. We additionally minimize rocks to construct the base of the homes constructed in the hilly terrain. Rock miners’ service is utilized in pipe-laying works in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi, Gujarat, Telangana and Jharkhand,” stated Kattan Khagar, a rock miner of Ghisauli village in Jhansi.
The service of rock miners has additionally been utilized in the laying of water pipelines for the faucet water provide scheme below the Jal Jeevan Mission in the seven districts of Bundelkhand area. An officer of Jal Jeevan Mission, Jhansi, Vijendra Joshi, stated rock miners are roped in to minimize rocks to lay pipelines at spots the place explosives usually are not used.