By Bizodisha Bureau, Bhubaneswar, October 12, 2017: Odisha has emerged as a role model in Integrated Mines and Mineral Management System (i3MS) in the aftermath of multi-million rupee mining scam. 

The I3MS is designed to bring more transparency and effectiveness in mineral administration by eradicating the possibility of illegal mining and unauthorized transport of the minerals, officials said adding that many state now have evinced interest in emulating the Odisha model to stop rampant looting of valuable minerals.

Incidentally, the Central Coordination cum Empowered Committee of the union ministry of mines has recommended all States to adopt i3MS for better mineral administration. Jharkhand and Chattisgarh already have developed their systems in line of i3MS of Odisha.

Punjab and Bihar also have evinced keen interest to emulate Odisha in mineral management, according to the state mines director Deepak Mohanty. While presenting before a high level review meeting chaired by chief secretary, Aditya Prasad Padhi on Wednesday, Mohanty said that that Bihar and Punjab requested the state government for source code of i3MS for which both the states will pay Rs. 50 lakhs each.

The i3MS began as a flagship project in 2012 with a five-year road map. Meanwhile, the security audit of the software has been conducted twice and the system has been found fully protected. The mobile phone application has also been incorporated in the system and 306 mobile phones of the mining, police, forest officials along with members of the State level enforcement squad has been integrated with the system to check illegal transportation of minerals. The system has also been integrated with all the weigh bridges for cross checking of the quantum of mineral being transported.

Odisha is the first state in the country to introduce GPS tracking of mineral transportation by the vehicles. The software developed by the state enables the regulators to monitor end to end mineral transaction i.e. from extraction to end use on a real time basis. Presently, the mineral transportation is allowed only through GPS equipped vehicles, Mohanty informed adding that more than 40,000 vehicles have already been fixed with the GPS device.

Keeping in view of substantial progress and operation of the system Padhi asked the department to integrate i3MS with tracking and monitoring of projects taken up under District Mineral Fund (DMF).

The budget for entire project of i3MS was estimated around Rs 155 crore to be spent over 5 years from 2017 to 2021. The project was planned on a self sustaining mode with introduction of only one rupee of user fee for one ton of mineral. Considering the present trend of mineral transaction, Rs 35 crore was expected to be collected as user fee each year, the meeting revealed.

Integration of i3MS with DMF will facilitate online dash board monitoring of the DM Fund, list of projects undertaken, the progress of the projects etc. Padhi directed planning and coordination department to monitor the DMF projects through this software. A technical committee was formed to work out the scope of this integration, an official release said.