GIS mapping, drones to help Railways protect land

Updated - April 29, 2016 05:33 am IST

Published - April 29, 2016 12:00 am IST - NEW DELHI:

The Delhi Division of the Railways is taking the hi-tech route to manage its fixed assets in the National Capital Region.

From Geographic Information System (GIS) mapping of its vacant land to aerial survey of its railway station through drones, the Railways is adopting state-of-the-art technology for asset and project management.

The Railways has developed a web-based application, Land Management Module, and the pilot project will start in Delhi. The GIS mapping of all Railway land in Delhi will help the authorities in curbing the menace of encroachments.

“Through the use of this state-of-the-art technology, we will get to know where are the encroachments and how they are spreading,” Arun Arora, Divisional Railway Manager, Delhi, told The Hindu .

Mr. Arora said by constantly monitoring satellite-based images of Railway land, the authorities can zero in on the exact trend of where and how their land is being grabbed.

The main use of GIS mapping, however, will be for project management, Mr. Arora said. “The aim is primarily to map all our fixed assets so that whenever any project is undertaken or any future project is planned, we have the exact digital mapping of the area, and the work being executed or being planned. This will assist in asset management, because you will know the exact condition at any point of time.”

Mr. Arora said that apart from GIS mapping, “drone surveys” too will soon start in Delhi to help with big-ticket projects. “Through drone surveys, you will be able see the entire phase of the project. When it comes to big civil engineering projects, you can’t find out everything through the naked eye and a bird eye’s view will be of big help.”

He said the use of camera-fitted drones will help railway officials get an imagery of the projects at a scale that is not possible manually. Another major use of drones will be for redevelopment of old railway stations like old Delhi and Hazrat Nizamuddin. Mr. Arora said through aerial photography by drones, the authorities will be able to scientifically find out areas where expansion or reconfiguration of these stations is possible.

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