RANCHI: Faced with hurdles of illegal mining in remote areas, Jharkhand mines and geology department has started geo referencing of mines in the state.  This will help check illegal mining as most mining companies engage in exploration outside the area allocated to them.

The department received the georeferencing of Jeraldaburu mines of Jindal Steel and Power Limited spread over 537 hectare, recently. The georeferencing of mines of Bihar Sponge Iron Limited and General Produce Company is underway in Roaam and Ghatkuri area. The area covered by the mines is 533 and 163.1 hectare respectively.

Director of geology, mines and geology department, J P Singh said the department is putting pressure on every owner of mines to start and complete georeferencing at the earliest. “We want that the work should be completed so that we have clear idea of violation of mining lease. It will help in putting an end to illegal mining outside the lease area,” said Singh.

However, the department does not have a deadline for the mining companies to complete the work.

Sources in mines and geology department said they had failed to demarcate the boundary for years as a result most of the companies were not keeping its operation confined to the area leased to them. It was noticed by ground level officers that many companies carry mining in adjoining areas and save their own reserve. They are waiting for time when the government will be able to demarcate the boundary.

The problem is there in most districts but acute in Latehar, Palamu, Lohardaga and Gumla owing to the presence of Maoists and their splinter groups. No officer dares to visit the forest areas and go deep inside to check the violation, said an officer.

Referring to a query on why the department cannot check illegal mining by putting check posts, an officer said since companies involved in violation of mining lease area have licence so it cannot be checked by setting of check posts on exit route.

“The moment our staff will go for verification they will be abducted. We hope that the problem of illegal mining will be controlled now because the department will be able to keep an eye on every activity through global positioning system once georeferencing is done without going to the spot,” said a source.