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Use of satellite imagery to curb illegal mining

By A Staff Reporter

The Union Minister of Mines & Development of the North Eastern Region, B.K. Handique recently reviewed the action taken on measures to curb illegal mining in the country. He lauded the joint initiative of the Indian Bureau of Mines and ISRO in their efforts in using satellite imagery for identifying illegal mining especially in Orissa and other parts of country. The Indian Bureau of Mines used the satellite imagery to zero in on the illegal mining areas located in dense forested areas, which otherwise might have gone unnoticed, and took action by suspending mining activity of nine mine owners in Orissa.

The Union minister directed to develop a special scheme for developing capacity in the state governments for using satellite imagery for curbing illegal mining. In order to do so, a committee headed by the secretary of mines in each state with officials from the Land Revenue Department, Regional Remote Sensing Centres and IBM would be constituted. This scheme will eventually converge with the scheme initiated by the Department of Land Resources for digitising all the land records in the country.

The Union Ministry of Mines had earlier demonstrated the use of satellite imagery to the state governments in a meeting held in the Planning Commission. Mr Arun Miera, Member, Planning Commission and Sudha Pillai, Secretary, Planning Commission emphasized the need for state governments to use modern technology in curbing illegal mining. It was also advised that the capability of the state governments to use the local Regional Remote Sensing facilities in each state would be essential criteria for assessment of fund allocation to the states.