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Major mineral mines in State to get ‘star status’ soon




 All major mineral mines will soon be given ‘star status’ across the State. The State government has been urged to implement the innovative initiative to encourage sustainable and responsible mining. 
Odisha, being a major mineral bearing State has been urged to provide ‘star status’ to even minor minerals also, which is a State subject.  
In order to encourage sustainable and responsible mining, the Ministry of Mines has decided to start ‘Star rating of mines of major minerals’ in which mines will be rated from one to five star for their efforts in implementing a framework for sustainable development, mitigation impact on local area, forest, environment and ecological restoration of affected land.
Secretary, Union Ministry of Mines Arun Kumar has written to the State government in this regard, while informing the state that all the major minerals will have to attain at least four star status within two years as mandated in Mineral Conservation and Development Rules (MCDR) 2017.
Kumar has urged the State to implement the initiative on the line of star rating for major minerals.  Pointing out another initiative, the official has said that Mining Surveillance System (MSS), which uses space technology for curbing incidences of illegal mining with minimum human interference is needed to be implemented in case of minor minerals.
MSS had been launched in 2016 through Indian Bureau of Mines (IBM) in collaboration with Bhaskaracharya Institute of Space Applications and Geoinformatics (BISAG) for major minerals.  
As far as Odisha is concerned, the Odisha Space Application Centre (ORSAC) is engaged in such activity and the State government has taken lead in this direction, said sources. In the meantime, the State government has decided to put mining and transportation of mineral activities under satellite surveillance to maintain transparency in the mining sector.
This was decided at the State Level Task Force meeting held recently under the chairmanship of Chief Secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi. The chief secretary directed the Steel and Mines Department to develop differential global positioning system (DGPS) for regular satellite checking of mining activities at the ground level. Padhi further asked the department to expedite the process for putting in place the system for GPS tracking of mineral bearing vehicles.
He advised ORSAC for satellite monitoring of mining activities and keep the department informed about the updates for necessary actions in case of violations. Now for both MSS and star rating the Ministry of Mines is taking up hand held support and seeking consent of the State governments for implementation in minor minerals. Kumar has sought consent of the State government to accord approval for implementation of star rating and MSS for minor minerals in the State.
 





Editorial

Précis 2017
From asking his party men to ‘live a simple life and serve the people’ to taunting the BJP for its ‘crocodile tears’, Chief Minister and BJD supremo Naveen Patnaik has not only become politically invincible, he seems to be so in the coming years too.

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