Railways to deploy drones to monitor projects
The move assumes significance in the backdrop of the Elphinstone station road bridge tragedy in Mumbai, in which 23 people had died
Drones would now monitor railway projects, aid crowd management and oversee maintenance works across its zones, railway officials said today, adding that the West Central Railways was the first zone to procure such drone cameras.
The move assumes significance in the backdrop of the Elphinstone station road bridge tragedy in Mumbai, in which 23 people had died in a stampede on September 29 last year.
The cameras (UAV/NETRA) would be used for various activities, especially project monitoring and maintenance of the tracks and other railway infrastructure, the national transporter said in a statement.
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"Directions have been given to the zonal railways to procure such cameras. This is in line with the railways' desire to use technology to enhance safety and efficiency in train operations," it added.
The West Central Railways, headquartered at Jabalpur (MP), is the first zonal railway to procure the drone cameras and it has already conducted a trial run of the cameras last week in all of its three divisions.
Unmanned aerial vehicles or drones would be deployed to monitor relief-and-rescue operations, projects, progress of important works, the condition of the tracks etc., the statement said.
These would also be used to assess the preparedness of the non-interlocking (NI) works, for crowd management during fairs, to identify scrap and also for an aerial survey of the station yards, it added.
The cameras would be instrumental in providing real-time inputs as regards the safety and maintenance of the tracks and other railway infrastructure.
A drone is essentially a flying robot which can be remotely handled through software-controlled flight plans embedded in its system, working in conjunction with GPS.