DGCA gives Nod for Aerial LiDAR Survey of Thiruvananthapuram-Kasaragod Semi High Speed Rail Project

NEW DELHI/THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Kerala Rail Development Corporation Ltd (KRDCL) has received the clearance of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) for the conduct of the aerial survey 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 State Government and the Ministry of Railways.

The exact alignment of the Silver Line will be finalised based on the Aerial survey and the boundaries for the line on both sides will be determined only with the approval of the State Government. The process of land acquisition for the greenfield project will start only after that.

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, said Mr Ajith Kumar.

KRDCL has chosen the Hyderabad-based Geokno India Private Ltd to carry out the survey through the bidding process. It will be completed within a week after getting off the ground. GeoKno had conducted similar surveys for Ahmedabad-Mumbai Bullet Rail Line.

The survey will 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, volumetric calculation of the river cross sections, quantity calculation of the earth works etc. These are required for the engineering design of the line.

As part of the work, helicopters installed with laser scanners and sensors will have to land at different sites across the state, for which permission will be sought from the district collectors concerned.

The work of marking the ground-points and central points for the survey has already been completed. The ground-points are being marked at a distance of every 25 km and with as much width.

The State Cabinet has given green signal for SHSR 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 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 by four hours.