Our Bureau

New Delhi, Feb. 14

The Mines Ministry in collaboration with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has embarked on a project to create a tenement registry of mining leases that would help settle boundary disputes and curb illegal mining.

“We are trying to map all the registries of mining leases,” said Ms Santha Sheela Nair, Secretary, Ministry of Mines.

A pilot of the Tenement Mapping Project is being carried out at Bellary and Chitradurga in Karnataka and Chattisgarh.

“All these problems that we hear now about boundary disputes and nobody knowing where the boundary is etc., should be settled once and for all, once the tenement registry is done throughout the country,” Ms Nair said.

The Tenement Registry is also expected to help restrict illegal mining activities that are on the rise. It is estimated that nearly 80,000 cases of illegal mining have been detected by states from January 2006 and June 2009.

Further, the Ministry, through Geological Survey of India, has also engaged with ISRO in two satellite based surveys in the country for hyperspectral mapping, that helps identify and locate mineral wealth and geomorphological mapping.

As part of its modernisation initiatives, GSI is going ahead with the Rs 448 crore project to acquire new research vessel and has selected The Shipping Corporation of India (SCI) and Wartsila Ship Design, Norway (WSDN) as consultants.

WSDN has prepared and submitted the general agreement plan along with outline specification and scientific equipment, which is being scrutinised by SCI and GSI. This plan is likely to be finalised later this month.

GSI has acquired the Dhruv Helicopter from Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd, which will be fitted with geophysical sensors for undertaking aerogeophysical surveys.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated February 15, 2010)
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