What are coal miners going through in this time of pandemic?

With the country confronted with an unprecedented situation, offices have resumed work from home to keep safe. 

Image Source: Reuters

But, there are many still who are still working, risking their lives in this current situation, the Coal Miners. 

Supply of coal declared as essential service

Union Minister of Coal, Mines and Parliamentary Affairs Pralhad Joshi had announced in March that the supply of thermal coal in India has been declared as an essential service and officials are to maintain its critical dispatch during the country’s lockdown period.

He added that proper coal supplies will be maintained during the lockdown period so that power and other critical sectors are unaffected due to the current situation

Coal miners fulfilling their professional duties during the COVID crisis

Coal miners have kept their noses to the grindstone to dig out coal so that the country’s power plants can keep running at a time when people have been forced to stay indoors due to the COVID-19 crisis.

They have braved the risks associated with the pandemic to fulfill their professional duties. 

Because of the nature of the work, a lot of crowding, coughing and spitting and the significant incidence of lung damage from years of exposure to coal dust, coal miners may be especially vulnerable to the coronavirus, medical researchers say.

Coal dust inhalation causes black lung disease

Coal dust inhalation can cause black lung disease. Miners and those who live in nearby towns are the most affected. Cardiopulmonary disease, hypertension, COPD, and kidney disease are common diseases they go through. 

Western Coalfields Ltd (WCL), a subsidiary of Coal India LtdNSE 6.19 %, has registered the highest-ever single day coal production of 4.29 lakh tonnes on March 27 amid the countrywide lockdown.

Employees, currently 42,000, are working 24×7 in both underground and opencast coal mines to produce and despatch enough coal to its linked power plants so that there should be no disruption in electricity supply in the country at present necessary. 

Though across India, companies are taking several steps to ensure the safety of its workers.

Besides providing masks, foot-operated washbasins have been installed at vulnerable places in the mines. Sanitation of all heavy earth moving machines also takes place on a regular basis. 

Siya Bhatia