Last updated on August 3rd, 2019 at 04:29 pm
In Pakistan’s Balochistan province, hundreds of miners are killed or disabled for a lifetime due to the lack of safety equipment and proper facilities in coal mines. In one such incident, Ali Gul’s brother, resident of Tehsil Sanjawi of district Ziarat was also injured, and he decided to do something to save the lives of coal miners.
While studying computer engineering at Beautmas University in Quetta, Ali Gill designed a helmet that could do much to protect miners’ lives.
Ali Gul is now struggling to introduce this smart helmet on a large scale with many features, and the Higher Education Commission is also helping him.
Talking to The Citizen, Ali Gul said that the helmets he created had sensors installed that would not only detect the methane and other gases inside the mine but also will help to determine the quantity of temperature and humidity.
“When these gases accumulate inside the mine, causes the death of the miner, so timely identification can save the miner’s life. The helmet also has the ability to provide timely information on the amount of oxygen in the body of the mine-worker. The helmet will also tell if the miner is taking mineral gas instead of oxygen,” Gul said. “The GPS installed in the helmet will track the miner’s real-time location to determine where it is currently operating inside the mine. In addition to the helmet, we will also give the miners a dust mask that will filter out dust and gases.”
According to Ali Gill, all this data will be available to us through a remote cloud application that will let us know where and in what circumstances the miner is currently operating. If any gas is found there, oxygen is reduced inside the miner’s body, or there is any other danger, the helmet itself will alert the miner by sounding the alarm and alerting the ground station outside that miners’ life is in danger, and we will be able to rescue them in a timely manner.
In addition, we will also be able to warn about the future environment of the mine through smart helmets. We will assess the condition of mine in the coming years so that minors can get maximum protection by adopting safety measures.
Ali Gul said, “I live in an area where there are a lot of coal mines near us. There, I realized that coal mines are causing a lot of accidents and that miners are getting injured or dying. Many people in our village were killed in coal-mining accidents. When my brother was injured while working at a coal mine, I wondered why not something should be built that could prevent these accidents and benefit the workers.”
Coal mining is one of the major source of employment in Balochistan. According to labor unions, about one lakh people work in mining in Balochistan whose lives are at stake because of the lack of security equipment and arrangements.
According to Ali Gill, he obtained a Masters degree after Bachelor of Science and thought of commercializing this helmet. “Last year, 146 miners died in various accidents, and 300 workers were injured in Balochistan so I felt that laborers need this helmet and I should bring this helmet to market.”
Ali Gul says that the helmet will cost around Rs. 15,000 to Rs. 20,000 and It’s not even such a big amount. It is the responsibility of the company and the coal mine owners to provide protection equipment, including helmets.
This will also benefit helmet companies and coal mine owners a lot because when there is an accident in a mine, the company or the owner of the mine suffers a lot. They also have to provide medical care for the injured workers and provide financial assistance to the families of those killed. In case of an accident, the entire structure of the mine is destroyed. It takes millions of rupees to rebuild the mine, and it stays closed for months.
With this helmet, not only can they protect the lives of the miners, but they can also increase the production of the mine.
He said that initially, there was a lack of funds to implement this project. Now we have received a grant of Rs 14 million from the Higher Education Commission Technology Development Fund.
Ali Gul wants the government to help them reach this life-saving helmet to the maximum number of miners.