For the first time ever, the Indian Railways used a drone to inspect a mega rail project to assess the progress on the ground. It will now also be used to monitor other under-construction schemes.
The unmanned aerial vehicle was used to inspect the ongoing work on the Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC) project. According to the plan, all ongoing projects will be monitored through aerial survey.
Indian Railways has also decided to use drones to assess the ground situation in the aftermath of 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.
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. The drone was hired from a private operator and cost Rs 3,000 per km.
"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 Mr Sharma.
Currently, about 170 projects, including doubling and laying of new lines, are being executed by railways.
Drones will now be used to assess actual physical progress of these projects, sources said.