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Indian state to track illegal mining via satellite mapping

Orissa, India: The Odisha government has said it would soon launch a drive to identify the mines which had been allegedly operating outside the leased area, official sources said.

The state government’s action in this regard, sources said, came in response to a suggestion of the Justice M B Shah Commission which wound up its third phase of document verification here.

“Very few cases of slight encroachment is observed through digital mapping system. Digital mapping without ground survey is inconclusive. I do not think any case of blatant violation of mining laws in the state as in Karnataka and Goa,” Dipak Mohanty, Director of Mines said while replying a question.

Claiming that Odisha was the first state in the country to introduce DGPS (differential global positioning system) in demarcating boundaries in mining areas, Mohanty said that they (Shah commission) have suggested verification of two or three mines after observing slight encroachment by certain mines.

The Shah panel, probing into the illegal mining operation in three states including Odisha, sources said suggested the state government to ensure identification of mines which had been operating from outside the leased area.

Earlier, the team leader of the Shah panel, U V Singh had said “We are taking note of that (mining outside lease area) also. We will examine it.”

Mohanty said the state government had already constituted a joint committee comprising members from revenue department, steel and mines department and forest department to verify the alleged mining operation outside the lease area.

Source: The Hindu