SHILLONG, Jan 2 - Rescue operations in the East Jaintia Hills continued today, but just 1.4 feet of water could be pumped out from an adjacent mineshaft which rescuers believe is interconnected to the main shaft.
One pump was deployed by the Odisha Fire Service personnel today and 1,20,000 litres of water were pumped out in four hours in an operation that began at 10.30 am.
In two days, water from the adjacent shaft has reduced by just over 1.8 feet, which cannot be termed as encouraging. Yesterday, just six inches of water were pumped out and it is still not clear if water is seeping in the shaft and maintaining a constant level.
�The water is entering the main shaft from somewhere. It is suspected to be entering from the adjacent shaft; so the water is being pumped out to see if the water level reduces in the main shaft,� R Susgni, East Jaintia Hills District Public Relations Officer, said.
Navy divers did not go into the mineshaft to determine the water level and now the hope rests with the submersible pumps that the Coal India Limited has provided.
�Preparations are on to put the submersible pump with 100 horsepower into service from tomorrow. The pump can discharge 500 gallons of water per minute,� Susgni said.
During the rescue operations, SK Shastri, Commandant of 1 Battalion, National Disaster Response Force, along with other officials, visited the site to take stock of the situation.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court has admitted a petition to have an urgent hearing on the rescue operations. The petitioner sought that the Central Government should have in place a standard operation procedure for such rescue acts.
It was also sought that heavy-duty Kirloskar pumps which were used in the Thailand cave rescue operations be used.