As a piece of good information, Google Maps is all set to become a tool to fight illegal mining in Goa. The news came at the concluding session of environmental seminar in Panaji a month back. Noted environmentalist Madhav Gadgil, a Padma Bhushan awardee, supported the use of the Google service to stop illegal as well as excessive mining around various site in Goa which consumes 18 percent of Goa’s annual output.
It’s interesting to note that there exist over 100 open cast iron ore mines in Goa and more than 130 waiting for clearance. Most of the operational mines are either taking out more ores than what assigned to them, or facing illegal activities under the shadow of influential people. Several Goa ministers are supposedly involved in illegal mining activities, as per the opposition’s argument.
The use of Google Maps can certainly have some impact if not larger. It’s being presumed that Goa government is all set to stack this idea in the state’s futuristic Regional Plan 2021 to protect illegal mining, and save Rs. 6000 crores of Goa’s annual income. Use of Google Maps can also be extended to pin-point locate the naxalites in Chattisgarh, West Bengal and other parts of the country. A blend of technology in a democratic nation like India could do wonders to the country’s cause.