India Uses Drones To Inspect Mega-Rail Project Progress

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India is putting unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to good use for an ambitious project. Indian Railway has been using UAVs to inspect the construction of a mega-rail project and to “asses the progress on the ground,” the Indian Express reports. Drones will soon be used to oversee other projects, as well.

So far, drones were used to inspect the progress of work on the Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC) – a thousands of kilometres long mega-rail project. Aerial survey will from now on be used to monitor all ongoing projects.

Drones will also be used to assess the consequences and ground situation after all train accidents.

“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,” DFC Managing Director Adesh Sharma said.

To test the viability of using drones for this purpose, the DFC ran a three-day trial to cover some 98 km of the in-progress rail-line. Status reports were prepared from analysis of video recordings obtained by the UAV.

“It becomes easier and faster to prepare the status report of an ongoing project through drone. Field work can be monitored from the office using the drone footage,” said Sharma.

The Indian Express reports that there are currently about “170 projects, including doubling and laying of new lines, are being executed by railways.” UAVs will now be used to monitor physical progress of all these projects, according to source that spoke with the paper.