February 27, 2024

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India: App, Tool Allows Citizens to Report Illegal Coal Mining Incidents


The Ministry of Coal launched a mobile app to report illegal coal mining and a tool that allows citizens to upload geo-tagged photographs and textual information about illegal coal mining activities.



The Indian government has launched a mobile app called Khanan Prahari and a web called Coal Mine Surveillance and Management System (CMSMS) for the reporting of unauthorised coal mining activities. By allowing citizens to monitor and report incidents, the applications will enable law and order authorities to take suitable and prompt action against offenders.

The CMSMS has been developed to curb illegal mining and take transparent action as an e-governance initiative of publicly developed space technology. The objective of developing and launching the CMSMS application was to promote citizens’ participation against illegal mining by allowing users to send complaints through Khanan Prahari. Authorities will monitor and take action against any kind of illegal coal mining activities carried out within the leasehold boundaries of any coal mining project in the coalfield areas. The CMSMS tool uses geo-tagged photographs as well as textual information provided by citizens from the place of the incident.

It is expected that the country’s peak power demand will increase by 8-10% year on year, and the Coal Ministry has set a target of producing 1,017 million tonnes (MT) of coal in the next financial year, beginning in April 2023. The demand for coal increased from 906.13 MT in FY21 to 1,027.92 MT in FY22, and it is expected to reach approximately 1,087 MT in FY23. In anticipation of the upcoming peak summer months, the Ministry is collaborating with other ministries to guarantee sufficient supplies for power plants.

Commercial primary energy consumption in India has seen a significant rise in the past four decades. Major factors for the increase in demand for energy are the expanding economy and rising population. and the improvement of quality of life. The limited potentiality of other energy sources will lead to the continuation of coal as the primary resource in India’s energy scenario for the next few decades.

Last February, the government announced it was implementing new technologies and building digital infrastructure to support coal mines operations in a bid to cut down on dry fuel imports. As OpenGov Asia reported, new technologies can have a number of impacts on mining operations, including safety and productivity, environmental protection, and opportunities for women. Integrating technology into mining projects will lead to safer working conditions through improved underground communication, automation, and more sophisticated mineral and metal transportation and emergency response measures. The roadmap expects a new way of thinking will be inculcated in the entire organisation.

Under the roadmap, the government planned to implement a technology transformation team to drive impact and sustain the programme with an established centre of excellence. Also, a robust tracking and change management mechanism to ensure timely resolution and delivery. The scope of the plan is to technology enablement in coal mines to transform business value chains by using digital technology to enhance performance, increase productivity and sustainability as well as reduce environmental impacts. By 2024, the country may not need to import coal to generate electricity. Production by both the state-run organisation Coal India Ltd (CIL) and private companies is going up, which is ultimately expected to do away with the need for importing coal, which is used in power plants.


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