Telangana to use tech to curb illegal sand mining

“People need not transport sand without necessary permissions and undergo unnecessary trouble. They can rather, book sand in advance for their personal use,” KT Rama Rao said.

By   |  Published: 12th Jan 2018  6:07 pmUpdated: 12th Jan 2018  10:00 pm
File Photo: Telangana IT Minister KT Rama Rao

Hyderabad: To curb illegal sand mining and make mining operations transparent, the State government has decided to integrate technology with the process and enable people to book sand vehicles through Mee Seva centres and other online systems for personal usage. Special teams comprising police, mining and revenue departments are also being constituted to nab those operating illegal sand dumps and transportation against government guidelines.

Reviewing sand mining operations in the State on Friday, Mines and Geology Minister KT Rama Rao suggested facilitating sand transportation through Mee Seva booking. He said those who book sand through Mee Seva centres would get it within specified timeframe and in case of cancellation, consumers will be informed about the reason for the same. “People need not transport sand without necessary permissions and undergo unnecessary trouble. They can rather book sand in advance for their personal use,” he said.

Efforts have begun to identify problematic locations where illegal sand transportation is occurring and increase the vigil on these routes. The Minister said transportation of sand using bullock-carts and tractors for personal usage for free, as per existing norms, will not be objected.

“However, sand dumping should not be tolerated. Vehicles should be seized immediately and necessary action should be initiated against those responsible for it,” he added. Special teams, including flying squads comprising officials from police, revenue and mining departments, will be formed to initiate a stop to illegal sand mining, transportation and dumping.

Tech support

Rama Rao suggested use of technology to prevent illegal sand mining and transportation as well as maintaining transparency in sand quarrying. He wanted the officials to geo-tag all mining areas, including sand reaches, and establishment of geo-fencing to ensure that mining does not occur beyond permitted lease areas. Officials informed that adequate sand holdings are available to meet the existing demand.

Besides using drones for monitoring mining of major and minor minerals along with sand, the officials have been asked to use advanced technologies like GPS and RFID tags for vehicles transporting sand and other minerals. They were also advised to use satellite-based technology to monitor mining sites, besides examining feasibility of identification of illegal dumps, vehicular movement and overloading of vehicles with the help of Information Technology department using latest technology.

Director General of Police M Mahender Reddy along with top officials of police, mining, IT departments and Telangana State Mineral Development Corporation (TSMDC) attended the meeting.