Bhubaneswar, Feb. 21: The Odisha government has taken the help of the Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) to demarcate mining lease areas. A pilot project has been launched.
Disputes regarding demarcation have put the Odisha government in a spot.
The Justice M.B. Shah Commission, which is probing the mining scam, rapped Odisha for not being able to check mining outside the lease areas.
With the help and guidance of Isro, the government is mapping the mining areas through satellite images. Science and technology minister Ramesh Majhi said: “Isro has trained the scientists of Odisha to prepare satellite maps.”
Under the agreement, Isro’s regional remote sensing centres have trained six scientists, four diploma engineers and two technical assistants in Differential Global Positioning System. The system aims to provide improved location accuracy.
Now, the Odisha scientists have been trained to prepare high-resolution satellite images and orthoimage (aerial photograph) that can be used as an accurate representation of the earth’s surface. After getting trained hands, the Odisha Space Application Centre has begun a pilot survey in the mining areas.
The commission, which is inquiring into the mining scam that hit Odisha after 2009, has also asked the state to take the help of satellite images to mark out the extent of operations by private entrepreneurs outside the lease areas. The commission is likely to visit here in the last week of the month to inquire into the mining scam.
A government official said they had introduced technology to check the mining scam. “We have already introduced the IT technology in a big way to track the movement of minerals. The bar-code system has already been implemented. It will show how much mineral is being lifted and where it is being taken,” said the official.