Gujarat deploys drones to curb illegal mining

State Chief minister Vijay Rupani began the initiative to check illegal mining of minerals, especially in riverbeds where activities of illegal sand mining are rampant, by launching the ‘Trinetra’ project. PTI file photo

In its bid to curb illegal mining in the state, the Gujarat government on Monday began a pilot project of deploying drone-based surveillance.

State Chief minister Vijay Rupani began the initiative to check illegal mining of minerals, especially in riverbeds where activities of illegal sand mining are rampant, by launching the ‘Trinetra’ project.

To begin with, the project has been launched on a pilot basis for surveillance of riverbed sand mining on the riverbeds of big rivers like the Sabarmati, Orsang, Tapi and Bhadar. Persons found indulging in illegal or unauthorised mining will be nabbed and police complaints filed against them on the basis of monitoring by drones.

Gujarat has vast mineral wealth spread over 686 blocks. The state has already carried out detailed digitisation of mines on altitude and latitude basis. Similarly, barcodes and hologram special security marks are being printed on royalty passes to check illegal transportation of minerals.

Statewide vigil

In 2016-17, the state government earned a royalty of Rs 997 crore from mines and minerals and Rs 1,200 crore in 2017-18. The state filed 8,577 cases connected to illegal mining in 2016-17 and recovered Rs 42 crore in fines, while it filed 7,876 such cases and recovered Rs 62 crore in 2017-18.

The project would gradually cover the state’s entire geographical area and will be extended to water supply, roads and buildings and other departments.

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Gujarat deploys drones to curb illegal mining

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