Govt to Use Space Tech­nol­ogy to Keep Min­ing Mafia in Check

Min­istry to mon­i­tor mines with ma­jor min­er­als such as iron ore, gold to start with

The Economic Times - - Economy & Companies - Sarita.Singh@ times­group.com

New Delhi: The gov­ern­ment has taken a tough stand against min­ing mafia, de­cid­ing to mon­i­tor all mines, in­clud­ing min­er­als such as lime­stone and sand, through space tech­nolo­gies, and to ask states to quan­tify past il­le­gal min­ing ac­tiv­i­ties and ac­tions taken to check them.

Mines sec­re­tary Balvinder Ku- mar told ET that satel­lite map­ping of mines will start with ma­jor min­er­als such as iron ore and gold, and will be grad­u­ally ex­tended to mi­nor min­er­als like lime­stone and sand where the prob­lem is se­vere.

“Once fully im­ple­mented, the move will bring about trans­for­ma­tion in the In­dian min­ing in­dus­try. We have iden­ti­fied large chunks of il­le­gal min­ing in many ar­eas. It is ram­pant in case of mi­nor min­er­als like lime­stone and sand in states such as Ut­tar Pradesh, Ra­jasthan and Haryana. We will ask states to quan­tify losses due to il­le­gal mine ac­tiv­i­ties and ex­plain their po­si­tions to us,” Ku­mar said.

Ram­pant il­le­gal min­ing in Kar­nataka and Goa led to min­ing bans by the Supreme Court in 2011and 2012. Sand min­ing in Ut­tar Pra- desh has been a cause of con­cern for state and cen­tral govern­ments.

The mines min­istry started pi­lot mon­i­tor­ing projects about four months ago in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the Bhaskaracharya In­sti­tute for Space Ap­pli­ca­tions and Geo-in­for­mat­ics for 400 mines in Gu­jarat, ex­tend­ing these later to four mines each in other states. Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi had in Septem­ber last year urged use of space-based tech­nolo­gies to curb il­le­gal min­ing.

Ku­mar said in the next three months, all 4,000-odd mines with ma­jor min­er­als such as baux­ite, cop­per, man­ganese, nickel and zinc will be mapped by satel­lites for mon­i­tor­ing.

Un­der this process, digi­tised rev­enue maps of each mine will be su­per­im­posed on their re­spec­tive GPS-en­abled min­ing plans. This will help the mines min­istry col­lect satel­lite images of all blocks ev­ery month and de­tect il­le­gal ac­tiv­i­ties within 500 me­tres of the ear­marked bound­aries of the mines. The In­dian Bu­reau of Mines, which pro­motes sci­en­tific devel­op­ment of min­eral re­sources, will be the no­dal agency to im­ple­ment satel­lite mon­i­tor­ing mea­sures. Ku­mar said the bu­reau will set up a con­trol room for reg­u­lar mon­i­tor­ing and de­tec­tion of il­le­gal min­ing.

Digi­tised rev­enue maps of each mine will be su­per­im­posed on their re­spec­tive GPS-en­abled min­ing plans

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.