Semi High-Speed Rail Line: Aerial survey commences in Kannur

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Kannur: The aerial survey to identify the alignment of Kerala’s ambitious Thiruvananthapuram-Kasaragod Semi High-Speed Railway (SHSR) project got underway today, covering the northernmost 80 km stretch from Kannur in the initial phase of the exercise.

The aerial survey will be completed in seven days for the entire 532 km stretch up to Thiruvananthapuram, marking the first vital step before commencing the work of the project, named Silver Line, which will reduce the end-to-end travel time across the state to four hours.

LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) aerial remote sensing method is being used for the survey, conducted on a Partenavia P68 series aircraft that took off from Kannur International Airport (KIAL).

A joint venture of the Kerala Government and the Ministry of Railways, the project had obtained the in-principle approval of the Centre on December 17. The Civil Aviation Director-General and the Ministry of Defence had given clearance for the one-week-long survey, followed by the green signal from the Railway Ministry.

The special permission of the Ministry of Defence was required since the aircraft has to fly over highly-sensitive security zones, and it is also mandatory that Indian pilots should be assigned for duty.

The survey is being carried out by Hyderabad-based GeoKno India, which had also conducted LiDAR survey for the Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project.

According to V Ajith Kumar, MD of Kerala Rail Development Corporation Ltd, the implementing agency of the project, also called K-Rail, this survey will help identify the alignment very fast and start the construction. K-Rail is a joint venture by the State government and the Central Railway Ministry. “This will enable K-Rail to prepare a detailed project report (DPR) and launch the final location survey soon. Albeit ubiquitous across the world, Silver Line is the second rail project in India to rely on LiDAR survey.”

Through the survey, accurate details of the land will be available without disturbing public life. Moreover, it can precisely identify forests, rivers, roads, wetlands, buildings, electricity line and heritage zones. The high-resolution cameras used in the LiDAR unit can detect tree-covered low lands.

Kerala Biz News

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