17 mine labourers lost their lives in KP on Monday when huge boulders and parts of Ziarat marble mountain in Safi tehsil of Mohmand area fell on many nearby mines. Caving in of coal, salt marble mines have been a regular feature in our country, where least importance is given to the safety of human beings.

As per international safety codes, all mines must be periodically inspected by experts to assess their lives and chances of accidents. Alas! No such survey is conducted in our country, although it is mandatory under law. Moreover, the accident-prone mines should be marked and work inside these mines should be stopped forthwith. The Mining Act of 1923 has failed to overcome these problems.

The Khyber-Pakhtunkhawa Mines Safety, Inspection and Regulation Act, 2019 was enacted to consolidate and amend the law relating to the safety of miners and mining operations and the inspection and regulation of mines, mining operations and materials used therein; to promote the safety and health of the miners working in mines and for connected purposes. Unfortunately, this act also could not bear any fruit for poor mine workers and they have regularly been buried in one mine after another due to poor safety arrangements.

IFTIKHAR MIRZA,

Islamabad.