Satellite imagery is being used to check the menace of illegal mining across the country, which is a major problem, the government said today.
Replying to supplementaries during Question Hour in the Rajya Sabha, HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar said the government was making use of modern technology to check illegal mining and several instances have come to light.
"The Government is making use of modern technology to check illegal mining, which is a big issue in both major and minor minerals.
"In major minerals, satellite technology is being used to check the menace and several instances have come to light. Many steps are being taken. There has been a good use of technology which has yielded good results," Javadekar, who earlier held the Environment portfolio, said.
On sand mining, he said river mapping was being done through satellites and licencing of upto 5 hectares of sand mining is being given at the district level.
Javadekar also informed the House that bar-coded receipts for trucks taking sand from the mines are being given now to check illegal mining as per the new norms. "Now new norms have been notified and it is justiciable," he said.
He agreed that trees were being removed for development and a campaign of reafforestation has been launched.
To a question if a special task force with participation of both central and state governments was being put in place, Javadekar said 23 states have formed their task forces to tackle illegal mining.
Citing an instance which was brought to his notice, he said, "in one district alone, Rs 125 crore was recovered through taxes due to illegal mining within three months alone."
"A sustainable sand mining policy has been put in place and notified last year," he said.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)