Sand-mining monitoring to go hi-tech

MoEFs guidelines mandate district survey report to identify mining areas

onitoring of river sand-mining and transport is set to go hi-tech. The guidelines on sustainable sand mining notified by the Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFs) earlier this month prescribe a modern, technology-assisted system to keep an eagle eye on mining and transport of river sand.

The guidelines mandate the preparation of a District Survey Report to identify the mining areas.

The procedure for monitoring of river sand-mining prescribes a transport permit with security features like MICR (Magnetic Ink Character Recognition) paper, unique barcode and Quick Response (QR) code, fugitive ink background, invisible ink mark, void pantograph and watermark to avoid counterfeiting.

It also includes an Android-based application to scan the permit using a smartphone. Mining lease areas larger than five hectares will be required to have closed circuit TV (CCTV) cameras and computers with internet connection.

The site would be provided with access control and arrangements for weighing the mined sand.

Transport permit

According to the guidelines, the State Mining Department would print the transport permit and issue it to the lease holder through the District Collector. The permit would be uploaded on the server.

When the barcode on the permit is scanned and an invoice generated, the validity time is recorded on the server. The system allows the details of transporting mineral to be captured on the server.

Enforcement officials can check the consignments of mined sand by scanning the transport permit using website, Android application or SMS. The vehicle can be tracked from source to destination using check points, RFID tags and GPS facility.

The proposed system will facilitate the generation of periodic reports on daily lifting and vehicle log. The District Collector can also block the scanning facility of a site found to be indulging in any irregularity.

An enforcement official intercepting a vehicle illegally transporting sand will be required to report the action for registration on the server.

MoEFs has directed States to comply with the monitoring system within three months.

Greens’ view

Experts and environmentalists feel that the proposed system would help authorities to crack down on illegal sand mining.

“It signals the transition to a sophisticated monitoring system for sustainable mining,” says D. Padmalal, scientist, National Centre for Earth Science Studies.

States asked to comply with new monitoring system within three months.

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Printable version | May 29, 2020 11:44:01 PM |

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