GPS installation in mineral carrying vehicles by Aug

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government on Wednesday decided to put the mining and transportation of mineral activities under constant satellite surveillance.

This was decided in the State Level Task Force meeting held under the Chairmanship of Chief secretary A P 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. The Chief Executive of ORSAC (Odisha Space Application) was asked to carry forward satellite monitoring of mining activities and keep the department informed about the updates regularly for necessary actions in case of violations, an official said.

The meeting resolved to have a complete database of all the mineral transactions happening in the state including import, export and inside consumption figures.

The enforcement activities need to be intensified at the ground level, Padhi said, adding that the collectors of the mineral bearing districts and mineral transport hubs were asked to hold the District Task Force meetings regularly in each month and intensify the enforcement activities.

The Superintendents of Police and Collectors of six mineral bearing and mineral transporting districts, who were contacted through video conferencing, were asked to strictly deal with the trouble makers who obstruct or create any sort of barrier in mineral transport activities under plea of so called association/strikes/bands.

The departments of steel and mines, transport and revenue have also been suggested to assess the activities of enforcement squads operating at district level and provide them necessary logistics.

As the experts present in the meeting said that Google earth map placed two years before might not provide the appropriate base for comparison of DGPS data being collected by ORSAC through satellite survey in recent months, the State Level Task Force asked the ORSAC to procure the same and carry on surveillance activities in each six months.

After the meeting Mines director Deepak Mohanty said, “Georeferencing of mineral carrying routes and mines sites are being undertaken so that GPS will be installed in mineral carrying vehicles in the State by Aug-end.”

Elaborating on the other decisions taken at the meeting, Raj Kumar, Mines Secretary said, “Discussions were held on tightening of surveillance of minerals transportation and production, holding district-level task force meeting regularly and strengthening of State level Enforcement squad.”

Meanwhile, ORSAC has also developed a techno-commercial proposal for tracking of 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 OMC (Odisha Mining Corporation) in collaboration with MSTC Ltd has put in place on line 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 Ltd.