DGCA gives nod for aerial survey of Rail project

Representative image. AFP Photo

The Kerala Rail Development Corporation Ltd (KRDCL) has received clearance from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) for the conduct of aerial surveys of the proposed Thiruvananthapuram-Kasaragod Semi High-Speed Rail (SHSR) line.

The Ministry of Defence had already given its go-ahead for the survey by deploying helicopters, based on strict standard stipulations such as skipping photography of specified strategically significant sites and installations.

The survey marks the prelude to deciding the alignment of the ambitious project 'Silver Line', to be executed by KRDCL, a joint venture of the Kerala government and the Ministry of Railways, an official release said here.

The exact alignment of the 'Silver Line' would be finalised based on the aerial survey and the boundaries for the line on both sides would be determined only with the approval of the state government.

The process of land acquisition for the greenfield project would start only after that, it said.

The Defence Ministry's clearance is mandatory for the survey as certain strategically significant sites fall within the ambit of the area to be covered.

KRDCL has chosen the Hyderabad-based GeoKno India Private Ltd to carry out the survey through the bidding process.

It would be completed within a week after getting off the ground.

GeoKno had conducted similar surveys for Ahmedabad-Mumbai Bullet Rail Line, it said.

The survey would yield a wide range of three-dimension images and data of the ground it covers such as Digital Elevation Model, Digital Terrain Model, Digital Surface Model, L-sections and Contour Topographical Mapping.

These are required for the engineering design of the line.

The State Cabinet had given green signal for SHSR in August after thoroughly considering the feasibility study that has fully taken into account every minute aspect of the project including the passenger potential and financial viability.

This study, which has found that the social, economic and environmental benefits to be derived from the project are substantial, is under consideration of the Ministry of Railways.

After further studies, the Detailed Project Report (DPR) of the project, will be drawn up.

Seen as a game-changer in Kerala's infrastructure and economic development, SHSR is to be implemented with minimum possible land acquisition.

Besides drastically cutting short the travel time, SHSR will go a long way in reducing atmospheric pollution caused by road traffic besides bringing down road mishaps.

Trains on the track, which cuts through 11 districts, will run at a speed of 200 km per hour, covering the distance between the state capital and up north Kasaragod in four hours.

A salient feature of the project is its total adherence to the green protocol, down to the last-minute detail, the release added. 

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