Free Press Journal

On day one after launch: 46 cases of illegal mining in MP reported on MMS App


Union minister for mines launches App through video-conferencing

BHOPAL: Union minister of state  for power, coal, new and renewable energy and mines, (independent charge) Piyush Goyal launched Mining Surveillance System (MMS) App to control illegal mining, through video-conferencing on Saturday. In Madhya Pradesh 46 cases were reported through the App during the test.

The minister said that the MSS is a satellite-based monitoring system which aims to establish a regime of responsive mineral administration, through public participation, by curbing instances of illegal mining activity through automatic remote sensing detection technology.

Ministry of mining, through Indian Bureau of Mines (IBM), has developed the MSS in coordination with Bhaskaracharya Institute for Space Applications and Geo-informatics (BISAG), Gandhinagar and ministry of electronics and information technology (MEITY), to use space technology for curbing illegal mining activity in the country.

Through the MSS the Khasra maps of the mining leases have been geo-referenced. The geo-referenced mining leases are superimposed on the latest satellite remote sensing scenes obtained from CARTOSAT and USGS.

The system checks a region of 500 meters around the existing mining lease boundary to search for any unusual activity which is likely to be illegal mining. Any discrepancy if found is flagged-off as a trigger.

Automatic software leveraging image processing technology will generate automatic triggers of unauthorised activities. These triggers will be studied at a Remote Sensing Control Centre of IBM and then transmitted to the district level mining officials for field verification. A check for illegality in operation will be conducted and reported back using a mobile app.

The user-friendly mobile app has been created which can be used by these officials to submit compliance reports of their inspections. The mobile app also aims at establishing a participative monitoring system where the citizens also can use this app and report unusual mining activity.

Their identity not be disclosed and the administration will take action into the matter. The advantages of remote sensing technology based monitoring system are that it is to create transparency.

Sensitive areas will be monitored more frequently and effective follow-up, the triggers will be followed-up at various levels like DMG, state mining secretary, state office and headquarters office of IBM and Ministry of Mining, GoI.

There are in total 3,843 mining leases of major minerals in India.

Out of which, there are 1710 operational mines and 2,133 non-operational mines. Most of the operational mines have been digitised.

Efforts for completing the digitisation of non-operational mines are being made through the state governments, which would be completed in three months time.

In the initial phase, a total of 296 triggers have been generated in the MSS software across the states which cover a total area of 3,994.87 hectares under the system.

State-wise data for successful triggers has been summarised as 46 cases in Madhya Pradesh , 42 in Goa, 35 in Karnataka, 32 in Gujarat, 29 each in Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, 23 in Rajasthan, 20 in Odisha, 11 in Himachal Pradesh, 8 in Maharashtra, 7 in Meghalaya, 6 each in Chhattisgarh and Telangana and two cases in Jharkhand .