BHUBANESWAR: The State Government on Wednesday decided to put mining and transportation of mineral activities under satellite surveillance to maintain transparency in the mining sector.
This was decided at the State Level Task Force meeting held under the chairmanship of Chief Secretary AP Padhi. The Chief Secretary directed the Steel and Mines Department to develop differential global positioning system (DGPS) for regular satellite checking of mining activities at the ground level.
Padhi also asked the Department to expedite the process for putting in place the system for GPS tracking of mineral bearing vehicles. He advised Odisha Space Application Centre (ORSAC) for satellite monitoring of mining activities and keep the Department informed about the updates for necessary actions in case of violations.
The meeting resolved to have a complete database of all mineral transactions happening in the State including import, export and inside consumption figures.
Collectors of mineral bearing districts and mineral transport hubs were asked to hold district task force meetings regularly and intensify enforcement activities.
The Superintendents of Police and Collectors of six mineral bearing and mineral transporting districts were directed through video conference to strictly deal with trouble makers who obstruct or create any sort of barrier in mineral transport activities.
The Departments of Steel and Mines, Transport and Revenue were advised to assess the activities of enforcement squads operating at district level and provide them necessary logistics.
As experts present in the meeting said google earth map, placed two years before, may not provide appropriate base for comparison of DGPS data being collected by ORSAC through satellite survey in recent months, the Task Force asked ORSAC to procure updated earth map from National Remote Sensing Centre.
Meanwhile, ORSAC has developed a techno-commercial proposal for tracking mineral bearing vehicles regularly from source to destination. The Department has been advised to expedite the process for putting the system in place.
The State-run Odisha Mining Corporation (OMC) in collaboration with MSTC Ltd has put in place an online e-tendering system for engagement of transport agencies. All the lessees, end user industries and transport agencies have been asked to sign the service provider agreement with MSTC.