Coal India subsidiary, Central Mine Planning and Design Institute (CMPDI), a premier consultant in open pit and underground mine planning and design in coal, which was likely to deploy high-end drones at coalfields has announced that the project will be delayed due to Covid-induced lockdowns and other restrictions in several states.
This comes even as the company has secured approval for using the equipment from the Centre. CMPDI is the research and technical arm of Coal India. It is one of the few organisations in the country to have introduced drones for conducting coalfield surveys.
In the initial phase the company plans to deploy drones at Coal India mines for specialised survey applications such as generation of high-resolution images, 3D terrain mapping and volumetric measurement of excavation, the official said.
“We are ready to deploy drones as permission from Directorate General of Civil Aviation has been given. Training for operations and maintenance of data was scheduled from April 25 but it couldn't be held due to lockdown,” CMPDI GM (Geomatics) Rajneesh Kumar said.
The high-end drones will also be used to map areas and detect spots of underground mine fire which is prevalent in eastern coalfields in West Bengal and Jharkhand, he said. Currently, two drones with high-end sensors have been procured with each valued at around Rs 2 crore.
According to Kumar, the move will have a distinct edge in terms of technology for various kinds of survey and monitoring jobs which are done on a regular basis. “Correct assessment based on drone generated data will help increase efficiency, productivity and safety in coal mines of the miner,” Kumar said.