New tech to speed up projects

New tech to speed up projects

The Indian Railways plans extensive use of technology to accelerate the pace of ongoing projects besides providing more amenities to crores of passengers who travel in trains.

“It is intended to use the latest drone and geospatial-based satellite technology for remotely reviewing the physical progress across major projects. In the next financial year, this would be operationalised for monitoring the progress on dedicated freight corridor,” railways minister Suresh Prabhu said in his budget speech.

The minister said the Indian Railways would rely on technological solution for project management and monitoring as the international best practices.

Geospatial technology involves widespread use of the GPS (global positioning systems), GIS (geographical information systems) tools and remote sensing applications.

Last year, the Indian Space Research Organisation inked agreements with the Railways to provide the GPS-aided geo-augmented navigation support (GAGAN) and supplying satellite images of railways tracks using the remote sensing satellites as a part of new safety features of the rail network.

Prabhu said a new R&D organisation, named Special Railway Establishment for Strategic Technology & Holistic Advancement, (SRESTHA), will be set up to take forward the technology agenda of the railways that would include provide connectivity in moving trains and use of solar panels to reduce the carbon footprint.

The new R&D unit would be headed by an eminent scientist reporting directly to the chairman, the Railway Board and would be staffed with scientists and experts. The existing Research Design and Standards Organisation (RDSO), on the other hand, would focus only on day to day issues while SRESTHA would drive long term research.

The ministry intends to set up a foreign rail technology cooperation scheme to establish linkages with railway organisations for the development of indigenous capabilities in modern and cutting edge technologies like high speed rail, heavy haul, rolling stock and signalling. For better analysis of 100 terabytes of data that Indian Railways generate each year, a separate outfit named Special Unit for Transportation Research and Analytics would be set up.

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