Published On : Mon, Aug 21st, 2017

GPS devices in vehicles transporting sand, minerals made mandatory to curb thefts

Sonegaon Lake, Sandeep Joshi

Representational Pic

Nagpur: The District Administration, with the aim of curbing illegal mining of sand and other minor minerals, has made it mandatory for all the mineral transporting vehicles to install GPS devices. The GPS devices will facilitate tracking the vehicles transporting sand and other minerals illegally and further streamline the mining activities in Nagpur district, said District Collector Sachin Kurve.

Till now the GPS devices have been installed in 15 vehicles and they are being tracked successfully. In the coming days, all the permitted vehicles transporting sand and other minerals will be equipped with the GPS devices. All the mining lease holders, authorised sand permit holders have been directed to install GPS devices in their vehicles, Kurve stated. “This will help the administration track movement of mineral carrying vehicles from the starting point till the destination point. Once GPS devices are fitted in the vehicles, Kurve said, one can easily locate the trucks, carrying minerals, and their route. “This will help in checking the theft of mineral on the route between the pit head to the end point,” he said.

The District Collector further said that at present the number of mining lease holders is 116 and that of sand lease holders is 36. All the lease holders have been directed to transport the minerals and sand in the vehicles fitted with GPS devices. The step is being taken following the High Court directives on curbing illegal transportation of sand and other minor minerals. The High Court had given three months to decide on the policy to curb the sand stealing and illegal transportation.

The District Administration is also deploying drone cameras to monitor activities at sand ghats. Contracts of four sand ghats were cancelled last year for illegal activities caught by the drone cameras, Kurve said.

The Nagpur bench of Bombay High Court had asked Maharashtra Government to explain why Global Positioning System (GPS) can’t be installed in trucks and other vehicles transporting sand, gravel and minerals from mining sites. The court’s poser came while hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) alleging several malpractices while issuing transit or royalty passes to the contractors for carrying out sand, gravel and mineral mining. By using technology like electronic bar coding and GPS, such practices could be controlled.