New Delhi: In a move to curb the alarming growth of illegal mining, the government will put in place an online system by December for mandatory registration of all minerals-related transactions in the country.
    
In the past couple of years, there has been a rapid step-up in illegal mining in various states.
    
About 24,405 cases of illegal mining have been recorded from January-March this year -- already 30 percent of the cases reported during entire 2010.
    
"We are going to introduce an end-to-end accounting system by the end of this year for all mineral transactions including mining, selling, transportation and export by miners, traders and exporters. This will check illegal mining," Mines Secretary S Vijay Kumar said.
    
Under the online system, registration of miners, traders and exporters of major minerals like iron ore, lime and bauxite will be a must, said Vijay Kumar, who chaired a high-level meeting of senior Central and State government officials to expedite mineral concessions and check illegal mining.
    
The registration will be done under the Mineral Conservation Development Rules (MCDR) through an amendment.
    
At present, there are not enough legal provisions for the central intervention in illegal mining in states, but the magnitude of the problem is so high that as many as 82,330 cases were detected in 2010, almost double the 41,578 cases unearthed in 2009.
    
The Central Coordination-cum-Empowered Committee (CEC) in its meeting on Wednesday also decided that the government will use satellite imagery to curb the menace.
    
States have been asked to curb illegal mining by improving monitoring of the mineral system through empowered committees and district level task forces and plugging loopholes in the royalty collection system.
    
The committee also reviewed the position regarding various important aspects of the mineral concession regime in the country, and stressed the need for bringing about more efficiency and transparency in the system.
    
The meeting was attended by representatives from Ministries of Environment and Forests, Defence, Home Affairs, Steel, Civil Aviation, Railway, Shipping, Finance. Officials from the Indian Bureau of Mines and Geological Survey of India also participated in the meeting.
    
Representatives of Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Goa, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Orissa, Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu were also present.

(Agencies)