The Madhya Pradesh government has decided to check illegal mining by putting its 6,000-odd major and minor mines on a geo-referencing system, officials of the state mineral resources department said on Tuesday.
Under the system, the boundaries of the mines will be demarcated by five-metre pillars with GPS coordinates, which will be erected every 50 metres along the mine boundaries. This will help map the actual mine position on a day-to-day basis and a physical differential can then help nail an illegal mining activity, officials said, adding a field survey will remain part of the system.
Officials said the absence of marked boundaries, especially in the areas where rivers keep changing their course and difficult terrain, was the main reason behind illegal activities going unchecked.
State mineral resources department IT consultant Krishna Sharma said, “We are soon floating a request for proposal (RFP) for geo-referencing of mines. They will include coal, sand or diamond mines. In the first phase, we will go with 1600 mines and later cover all the 6000 mines.”
He said at least 15 firms would be roped in through the tendering to carry out the job.
Sharma said these companies would be tasked with setting up five metre pillars at a distance of every 50 metres, three metre inside the ground and two metre above the ground along the mind boundaries.
“At each pillar, the GPS coordinates will be marked. The technology is called DGPS or differential global positioning system. After GPS coordinates are fixed, the information will be put on a GIS (geographical information system) map. On this GIS map, we can later add many layers of additional information like name of the present lessee and so on”, he said.
Director mineral resources department VK Austin said that the data generated from the geo-referencing exercise would provide a comprehensive picture of all the mines in the state and help the administration in monitoring the violations in mining areas.
“It will help us to take more stringent measures if we find mining is being carried out outside the sanctioned areas”, he said.