Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Testing grounds for Drones as effective surveillance equipment

The Ministry of mines has geared up to monitor the illegal mining activities with the help of Drones. Drones are unmanned aerial vehicles that can be remotely controlled with the help of a camera or geo-locating technology.
In the last month, India’s Ministry of Mines launched a satellite based surveillance system that will make the use of Drones to trace down any sort of illegal mining activity. States and countries across the world are giving a try at this technology, hoping to solve critical issues like illegal quarrying and sand mining.
Though the ministry has high hopes, many people in the industry feel that drones are not the most effective way of tracking down unlawful mining activities. Rana Sengupta, chief executive of the non-profit Mine Labour Protection Campaign in Rajasthan state, said “Drones can show you the extent of the problem, but if the intent is to check illegal mining, you need to involve the villages and local communities in the area. We already have the capability to use satellite images to see where illegal mining is taking place. Villagers can be your eyes and ears far more effectively in preventing the activity than drones”.
S Vaikundarajan, the Chairman and MD of V. V. Mineral Pvt Ltd., said in an interview “Though the exact picture of how the drone technology can help the industry is unclear, we are glad to see conscious effort by the Ministry (of mines) in trying to resolve the issue of illegal mining. Apart from being a criminal offense, illegal sand mining is a huge threat to the environment. “