After five subsidiaries of Coal India were slapped with a total fine of INR 53,331 Cr by various states for generating excessive emission than the permissible limits, the government-owned company is now looking at the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) to develop a satellite to monitor air pollution.
According to an ET report, the satellite-based system, which will be developed in partnership with ISRO, will provide air pollution data online to the Coal India and the government. The company hopes that the data generated with the help of this satellite will enable the company to get rid of the ground equipment used to monitor pollution.
For Coal India, this pollution monitoring solution seems to be a need of the hour as the company, with INR 38,000 Cr reserves, is in no position to pay the fines imposed by state governments.
If Coal India and ISRO become successful in developing this satellite-based pollution monitoring, India will stand right to next to US-government’s space agency, NASA, for working in this domain.
How Will Satellite Monitor Air Pollution
In this partnership with ISRO, Coal India’s subsidiary, Central Mines Planning and Development Institute (CMPDI), has taken up the responsibility for satellite-based monitoring of respirable particulate. Notably, the project is under implementation at Coal India’s Singrauli and Talcher coalfields sites.
On how the satellite-based monitoring of pollution works, a CMPDI executive said that the satellite is equipped with sensors that have the potential to measure particulate matter over mines. The sensors do so by measuring the amount of light obstructed by these tiny particles.
Moreover, CMPDI also plans to link this data with an online server so that the pollution figures, put forward by the satellite, are available for anyone who wants to use it.
Additionally, Ahmedabad-based ISRO’s Space Application Centre (SAC) has also been trying to develop a similar satellite-based monitoring solution. “We are working with ISRO’s Hyderabad-based National Remote Sensing Centre for developing a new system for our mines,” a senior Coal India official told ET.
This is not the first time that Coal India is looking at satellite-based solutions for its operations. In past, the company has used satellites for monitoring land reclamation and for reforestation purposes.