The unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), also called a drone, which faced resistance due to security reasons, is witnessing adoption in the industry domain. Indian Railways has announced to use drones for inspecting mega rail projects. Indian Railways will also use the technology to assess the ground situation in the aftermath of train accidents.
According to the PTI report published in the Indian Express, UAV was used to inspect the ongoing work on the Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC) project and, as per the plan, all ongoing projects will be monitored through the aerial survey. The drone was used for three days on a trial basis to cover the total 98 km on the DFC. The status report was prepared after the analysis of video recordings.
We used a drone to ascertain the progress on the 42 km long track between Baghega to Srimadhopur in Rajasthan in the Western DFC and also the 56 km long line between Durgawati and Sasaram in Bihar, PTI quoted Adesh Sharma, DFC Managing Director as saying.
"It becomes easier and faster to prepare the status report of an ongoing project through the drone. Fieldwork can be monitored from the office using the drone footage", Sharma said.
The drone was hired from a private operator and it cost Rs 3,000 per km for undertaking the aerial survey. Currently, about 170 projects, including doubling and laying of new lines, are being executed by railways. Drones will now be used to assess the actual physical progress of these projects, sources said. As far as DFC is concerned, the Durgawati-Sasaram section is complete now and awaiting safety clearance before being commissioned.
India first introduced its long-range line of UAV drones in the early 1990s for surveillance and reconnaissance activities. According to 6Wresearch, India UAV/Drone Market is anticipated to reach $421 million by 2021. Earlier, Gail India, the country's biggest gas transporter, announced to deploy drones on a pilot basis on its main trunk pipeline as part of higher safety measures it is implementing to secure its vast network. The drones will be used to patrol the pipeline to detect physical abnormal activity like encroachment or intrusion on the pipeline.
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Media Courtesy : Cxo Today