Speaking on the occasion, Piyush Goyal said that illegal mining is a serious problem in the country today, particularly in the areas where coal mining is carried out. Illegal coal mining not only causes a loss to the nation’s resources but is also harmful to the environment. He said that Ministry of Coal is committed to take suitable actions to try to reduce and stop such activities to the extent possible. It is understood that coal is a main source of livelihood for many poor families residing in coal belts, but their sustenance should not be totally dependent on illegal coal mining. It is not only about saving national resources but also about improving the quality of life of those people, he added.
The Minister said that Ministry of Coal has taken a major initiative in this direction by developing a Web GIS application called ‘Coal Mine Surveillance & Management System (CMSMS) and a mobile app called ‘Khan Prahari’. The Minister also said that this was a step towards utilizing space science as envisioned by Hon’ble Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi for peaceful activities. The Minister further stated that the launch of the Coal Mine Surveillance Management System and “Khan Prahari” on Swami Vivekananda’s death anniversary today is a fitting tribute to him because Swamiji stood for highest levels of integrity.
Secretary, Ministry of Coal, Dr. Inder Jit Singh, Chairman, Coal India Limited, Anil Kumar Jha, Additional Director General of CISF, Alok Pateriya, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Coal, Ashish Upadhyaya were present in the function. Besides, Officials of Ministry of Coal, Senior Officials from CIL’s subsidiaries and other Senior Officers from concerned 42 districts having coal bearing area participated in the function via video conferencing.
The uniqueness of the system is that it uses satellite data as well as public input to capture information on unauthorised coal mining activities and also take appropriate action on them with due transparency.The CMSMS will also provide other important information like reclamation work being done by Coal India Limited which is being monitored every year by CMPDI using satellite data. Status of Environmental Clearances /Forest Clearances etc. are also linked for information in this system.