Himachal to enlist drones to check illegal mining

Himachal police is planning to use drones to check illegal mining in the state said director general of police Sanjay Kundu on Saturday. The DGP was addressing a press conference here after presiding over a meeting to review crime, and law and order in the northern range, which includes Kangra, Una and Chamba.
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Updated on Oct 24, 2020 05:26 PM IST
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Hindustan Times/Dharamshala | By, Dharamshala

Himachal police is planning to use drones to check illegal mining in the state said director general of police Sanjay Kundu on Saturday.

The DGP was addressing a press conference here after presiding over a meeting to review crime, and law and order in the northern range, which includes Kangra, Una and Chamba.

“I have directed superintendents of police (SPs) of all three districts to request the deputy commissioners concerned to approve funding for the project from the mining reserve. The drones will be equipped with IP-enabled cameras capable of automatic number plate recognition,” said Kundu.

Since mining falls within the purview of the department of industries, the Himachal Police have written to the additional chief secretary (industries) seeking 2.5 crore for the purchase of drones and for setting up integrated command centres.

“The chief minister had announced that 10 integrated mining check posts will be setup in border areas of Himachal to check illegal mining. We are awaiting a notification from the department of industries in this regard,” he said.

“The three SPs have also been directed to implement Intelligent Traffic Management Systems (ITMS) and acquire funds from district authorities for the same,” he said.

The 1989-batch Indian Police Service (IPS) officer said the Himachal police is making efforts to enhance its technological capabilities. “We have already signed an MoU with the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Mandi, for developing technical solutions for crime mapping and accident management. Around 1,200 people die in approximately 4,000 road accidents in Himachal every year and the fatality rate in the hill-state is around 10% higher than the national average of 8%,” Kundu said.

The state police also intend to increase the number of CCTV cameras in the state from 19,000 to 68,000. “This will cover almost the entire state and help check crime,” he said, adding that two MoUs were in pipeline with the National Law University, Shimla, and Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Sirmaur, to enhance the police department’s legal capabilities and human resource development.

He said the law and order situation in the state was satisfactory. “Ever since we introduced Register Number 26 or the ‘register of sexual offenders’ there has been a decline in such crimes,” he said, adding that Register Number 27 or the ‘register of suicides’ will be introduced next year and a ‘register of unidentified bodies’ will be introduced subsequently.

“We have also proposed that the state government set up cyber crime police stations in each district,” he said.

The state police chief said the Centre had accepted the proposal to secure the international border (IB) along Himachal and work was underway on improving road infrastructure and communication networks in the areas.

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