Remote sensing survey to find out exact location of fire-patches in Jharkhand’s Jharia


Express News Service

RANCHI: Upset over frequent incidents of the sinking of ground due to material movement (subsidence) in Jharia underground fire zone, the district administration has decided to conduct a remote sensing survey to find out exact location of fire patches so that action can be taken.

According to officials in Jharia Rehabilitation Development Authority (JRDA), meant for implementing the Jharia Master Plan, with proper knowledge of fire patches in the region it would be easier for them to plan diversion of roads and shifting of other services to a safer locations.

The proposal was passed during a meeting conducted by District Administration while reviewing Jharia inferno with JRDA, BCCL, Central Mining Planning and Design Institute (CMPDI), Rail India Technical and Economic Services (RITES) officials on Friday. Jharia coalfield has been burning underground for over a hundred years, as residents living across 250 sq km sit on a ticking time bomb.

“Since primary purpose is to extinguish the fire, therefore it is mandatory for us to know about the exact location of the fire patches in underground fire zone of Jharia so that further action could be taken accordingly”, said a JRDA official requesting anonymity. It will also help us in planning diversion of
roads and shifting of other services to other locations, he added.

The official said that they have already declared some of the roads in the Jharia fire and subsidence prone ares as ‘dangerous for the movement of people’. A proposal has been passed to get the satellite survey done through National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC) Hyderabad, he said.

The official further said that, since roads and other services in the fire zone are to be shifted to another place, it is important to know the exact location of fire patches so that further planning could be done to rule out any chances of underground fire in the area where these services get shifted.

​Hence, a proposal for conducting remote sensing of the entire region has been passed to know about the location of fire patches, he said.

The official informed that with drone survey only superficial details or aerial imagery could be obtained but, through remote sensing every minute underground detail like exact location of fire patches could also be known.

“After getting a satellite survey of NRSC, experts of BCCL and CMPDI will study the data and submit a report to the district administration. On the basis of this report, the district administration will plan safe diversion routes in Jharia,” said the JRDA official.

Notably, several places on the state highway in Jharia and National Highway-32 are considered highly subsidence prone due to the underground fire. Subsidence incidents occur quite often on these roads especially during the rainy season, paralysing the traffic movement.

In 2017, a garage owner and his son got buried alive at Indira Chowk on the main road connecting Jharia- Sindri Township in one such subsidence. Several incidents have also occurred in the recent past claiming lives of many people in Jharia due to subsistence of the ground. 

Despite repeated attempts, Dhanbad DC was not available for talks over phone.

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