Drones the new weapon in India’s crackdown on illegal mining – by Rina Chandran (Reuters India – November 1, 2016)


MUMBAI (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – India’s mines ministry has told state governments to explore the use of drones to check illegal mining, as officials crackdown on an activity that has led to deforestation and the use of child labor.

A satellite-based mining surveillance system was launched last month, and the ministry is now exploring the use of unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones, to curb instances of illegal mining, said a notification dated Nov. 1.

Drones can be used to monitor illegal mining activities, check for activity at night and to track illegal truck movements, said Prithul Kumar, a director at the ministry of mines, in the note.

They can also monitor whether reclamation has been done as committed when a mine is closed, and calculate the extent of the green cover, it said.

Drones are increasingly being used around the world to check illegal activities and to survey damage to the environment. In Panama, indigenous people are using drones to monitor deforestation on their lands.

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