In a move that seeks to improve the accuracy of output and disposal of coal lying at pitheads, Coal India is keen to deploy UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicle) which are more popularly known as drones.
The firm company is learnt to be working on a blueprint before seeking the government’s nod for pressing the drones into service in certain coalfields. In doing so it may also seek the assistance of its consultancy arm— central mine planning and design institute (CMPDI).
According to the coal ministry, CIL loses over Rs 100 crore each year and concerned state governments sustain over Rs 25 crore each year due to illegal quarrying coal and its pilferage. Deployment of laser-based scanner system at mines and installation of GPS-based tracking system of trucks and trailers during the past two years have yielded mild dividends in improving fuel dispatch and containing pilferage, which led Coal India Limited (CIL) to decide on deploying drones ministry, a source told The Sunday Express.
“As a foolproof mechanism, CIL would use drones for these purposes. However we are waiting for the avitation ministry to announce the policy on using them,” he said. The ministry, is slated to announce the said policy shortly.
The parliamentary standing committee on coal and steel had in its report submitted to the Lok Sabha last month reminded that illegal mining and theft of coal remains a grave menace, which needs to be tackled.