‘Google Earth can help fight illegal mining in Goa’

July 20th, 2011 - 9:06 pm ICT by IANS  

Panaji, July 20 (IANS) If used effectively, internet search engine Google’s software Google Earth can help pinpoint and curb illegal mining in Goa’s hinterland, noted environmentalist Madhav Gadgil said Wednesday.

Gadgil, a Padma Bhushan awardee, was speaking at the concluding session of a two-day seminar on environment here.

“Mining activity can be monitored easily using the Google Earth software. This is one way you can keep check on it using satellite imagery,” Gadgil said.

The veteran green activist and academic said that the marriage of Goa government’s unique mapping of the entire state using satellite imagery during the formulation of the state’s futuristic Regional Plan 2021, with the clever use of Google Earth could help locate illegal mining as well as excessive mining in existing leases.

“The Regional Plan’s mapping shows the area covered by mines and the leases. It should help locate where illegal mining is going on,” Gadgil said.

Google Earth is a virtual globe, map and geographical information programme owned by Google, which maps the earth by the superimposition of images obtained from satellite imagery and aerial photography.

Over 100 open cast iron ore mines are in operation in Goa and 130 mining proposals are waiting clearance.

The opposition has accused several Goa ministers of being involved in the illegal mining trade. According to Leader of Opposition Manohar Parrikar, nearly 18 percent of Goa’s annual output of 40 million tonnes iron ore (worth about Rs.6,000 crore) is illegally mined.

–Indo-Asian News service

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