Chennai

‘Use drones to check illegal mining’

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HC points out that its earlier order was not complied with

In a significant decision, the Madras High Court has directed the State government to use drones to keep a check on areas leased out for mining.

The court said drones would be helpful in determining quantum of minerals quarried from the sites and thereby prevent illegal mining as well as consequent damage to the environment.

A Division Bench of Justices M. Venugopal and S. Vaidyanathan refused to accept the submission of the State government that it had already implemented a more advanced satellite-based Mining Tenement System, developed by the Indian Bureau of Mines, and hence the drones could be used only as and when necessary.

Aerial surveys

Concurring with advocate V.B.R. Menon, who had filed a case for conducted unmanned aerial surveys in mining sites, that drones would be much effective in detecting illegal mining activities, the judges ordered that both the Mining Tenement System as well as drones should be utilised by government officials.

The judges pointed out that they had passed a similar order on February 7, 2017 and directed the government to report compliance.

Though more than two years had elapsed since then, “it is painful” to note that the officials concerned had not complied with the orders, they observed.

“Though both MTS and drone technology shall operate simultaneously, in that process, the implementation of drone technology cannot be dispensed with at any point of time. It goes without saying that in the event of the government not implementing the drone technology... it is open to the petitioner to take recourse to law,” the Bench said.

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Printable version | Jan 26, 2020 8:13:35 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/use-drones-to-check-illegal-mining/article26516183.ece

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