Satellite-based surveillance system launched to monitor illegal mining

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coal-mineIn relevance to check illegal mining, the Ministry of Mines came out with Mining Surveillance System (MSS). This technology is a pan-India surveillance network that aims to check illegal mining activity through automatic remote-sensing detection technology.

The Mines Minister, Piyush Goyal, said at the launch of the surveillance sysytem, “MSS will trigger an alarm whenever there is an instance of illegal mining outside permitted areas. Karnataka, which saw large instances of illegal mining in the past, stands to gain tremendously from this technology”.

The minister added, MSS technology (a satellite-based monitoring system) will help design planned development of mining and also provide complete data of labourers working in the sector online, which will lead to better safety standards.

The Indian Bureau of Mines in co-ordination with the Bhaskaracharya Institute for Space Applications and Geo-informatics (BISAG), Gandhinagar and the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEITY) have developed MSS on behalf of the mines ministry.

The system checks 500 meters around the existing mining lease boundary to search for any unusual activity relating to illegal mining. Any discrepancy 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 district-level mining officials for field verification.

There are overall 3,843 mining leases of major minerals in India, of which 1,710 are working and 2,133 are non-working mines. Most working mines have been digitised. Efforts are on to complete digitisation of non-working mines and will be completed in 3 months. Initially, a total of 296 triggers have been generated in the MSS software across the states, which covers a total of 3,994.87 hectares under the system.

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