13 mining applications await environment, forest clearances in C'garh

| | Raipur
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13 mining applications await environment, forest clearances in C'garh

Friday, 20 January 2017 | Staff Reporter | Raipur

Chhattisgarh had atleast 32 mining applications pending which awaited environment and forest clearances besides those from Indian Bureau of Mines (IBM) as on October 6, 2016, official sources informed.

Notably, Chhattisgarh is among seven states where mineral blocks have been auctioned resulting in total additional revenue of `47,551 crores to the Central Government as on November 2016.

The other states where the mineral blocks were auctioned are Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Odisha and  Jharkhand, the Central Government has informed. 

Notably, Chhattisgarh has collected ` 712.04 crores under 'District Mineral Foundations' (DMFs) from all the 27 districts of the State where the Foundation had been established, the Central Government has informed.

Notably, the Mines and Mineral (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957 (MMDR Act, 1957) was amended through the MMDR Amendment Act, 2015. One of the amendment provisions relates to introduction of section 9B which provides for the establishment of District Mineral Foundation (DMF) in any district affected by mining related operations.

The objective of the DMF is to work for the interest and benefit of persons, and areas affected by mining related operations.

The Union Ministry of Mines has also commenced the process for pilot launch of Mining Surveillance System (MSS) for keeping vigil on illegal mining of even minor minerals in Chhattisgarh besides two other states, officials informed.

The process is underway to launch a system for minor minerals in coalition with the State Governments. The states of Haryana, Telangana and Chhattisgarh have been selected for a pilot launch, officials informed.

Notably, Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Power, Coal, New and Renewable Energy and Mines, Piyush Goyal had launched the Mining Surveillance System (MSS) in New Delhi recently.

Notably, the Union Ministry of Mines, through Indian Bureau of Mines (IBM), has developed the MSS, in coordination with Bhaskaracharya Institute for Space Applications and Geo-informatics (BISAG), Gandhinagar and Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEITY), to use space technology for curbing illegal mining activity in the country.

Been developed under the Digital India Programme, MSS is one of the first such surveillance systems developed in the world using space technology. The current system of monitoring of illegal mining activity is based on local complaints and unconfirmed information. There is no robust mechanism to monitor the action taken on such complaints.

Notably, the Automatic software leveraging image processing technology generates automatic triggers of unauthorized activities. These triggers will be studied at a Remote Sensing Control Centre of IBM and then transmitted to the district level mining officials for field verification.

A check for illegality in operation is conducted and reported back using a mobile app.

A user-friendly mobile app has been created which can be used by these officials to submit compliance reports of their inspections. The mobile app also aims to establish a participative monitoring system where the citizens also can use this app and report unusual mining activity.

The advantages of remote sensing technology based monitoring system are that it is Transparent (Public will be provided an access to the system); Bias-free and Independent (The system has no human interference); Deterrence Effect (‘Eyes watching from the sky’); Quicker Response and Action (The mining areas will be monitored regularly. Sensitive areas will be monitored more frequently); Effective Follow-up (action taken on triggers will be followed-up at various levels like DMG, State Mining Secretary, State Office and Headquarters Office of IBM and Ministry of Mines, GoI).

There are in total 3843 mining leases of major minerals in India. Out of which, there are 1710 working mines and 2133 non-working mines.

The Pradhan Mantri Khanij Kshetra Kalyan Yojana (PMKKKY) has been launched by the Government which will be implemented through funds collected under DMF.

  At least 60% of PMKKKY funds will be utilized for high priority areas like: (i) drinking water supply; (ii) environment preservation and pollution control measures; (iii) health care (iv)education; (v) welfare of women and children; (vi) welfare of aged and disabled people; (vii) skill development; and (viii) Sanitation.  The rest of the funds will be utilized undertaking works like for: (i) physical infrastructure; (ii) irrigation; (iii) energy and watershed development; and (iv) any other measures for enhancing environmental quality in mining district.

Notably, the South East Central Sector which includes Chhattisgarh is also set to play a key role in Central government’s ambitious coal loading and transportation plans.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed recently between Ministry of Railways and Coal India limited (CIl) which will lead to procurement of 2000 wagons (33 rakes) in the first outgo, officials stated.

The agreement which will result into speedy supply of wagons for coal loading in dedicated circuits.

Initially, the rakes will be inducted and run in the 2 main coal loading Zones of Indian Railways i.e South East Central coal sector and East Coast circuit.

These rakes will be inducted in circuits for transporting coal from MCl Talcher & IB area and SECl to Paradip/Dharma ports, Vishakhapatnam area and the power houses of Nagpur/Raipur region.

Under this strategic partnership, the wagons will be procured by Indian Railways on behalf of CIl, the maintenance of these wagons will be done by Railways at its own cost. Also, the brake vans will be provided by Railways itself.

It may be recalled that the Chhattisgarh government on the other hand had also sent a proposal to the Union Coal Ministry for increasing the rate of coal royalty from existing 14 % to 30 %.

A Study Group has been constituted to consider the revision of rate of royalty. Final recommendation of Study Group is under consideration.

 Significantly, the South Eastern Coalfields ltd (SECl) is targeting total coal production of 250 million tonnes (MT)  from its underground and open cast mines by 2019-20, officials stated. The company recorded coal production (provisional) of 12.10 million tonnes (MT) against target of 11.70 MT as on February 2016, Coal India ltd (CIl) informed the Bombay Stock Exchange in its filing. 

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