A climatological study of satellite-based fire occurrences and associated pollutant parameters reveal that fire occurrences are increased by 4% over Punjab and Haryana region during October-November between 2003 and 2017. The model-based analysis recommends that there is a high probability of transportation of smoke aerosols from Punjab & Haryana, towards down-wind regions of Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar and hence the govt is now in all alerts. The government-owned company is now looking at the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) to develop a satellite system to monitor air pollution. The satellite-based system will be developed in partnership with ISRO, will provide air pollution monitoring and data online to the Coal India and the government.

ISRO has been carrying out monitoring of stubble burning since 2015. The products generated are comparable to the NASA products. 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.

“ISRO’s Space Application Centre (SAC) in Ahmedabad has been trying to develop a similar system that is not fully functional yet. We are working with ISRO’s National Remote Sensing Centre for developing a new system for our mines. This will help the company dispense with the ground equipment used to monitor pollution ” -senior Coal India executive.

This is not the first time that Coal India is looking at satellite-based solutions for its operations. In the past, the company has used satellites for monitoring land reclamation and for reforestation purposes.

For Coal India, this ISRO air-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.