Expediting work on the Mumbai- Ahmedabad high speed corridor, a chopper will be used to carry out a detailed survey of the land meant for laying tracks for running trains at about 350 km per hour.
The 508-km corridor, which is the first bullet train project in India, slated to be operational by the end of 2023, aims to reduce travel time from the current nine hours to three hours between the two major metropolis.
Railways will use the Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) technology for the aerial survey of the route to hasten work on the ambitious high-speed corridor as it gives accurate data on the contours of land even under vegetation.
The aerial survey would be completed in 9-10 weeks against the normal 6-8 months. It will help the Railways to kickstart ground work on the project at the earliest, a senior Railway Ministry official said.
After collecting the data, it will take about a month to analyse it, he added.
The survey will be done with a helicopter which carries equipment for the same, including high-resolution digital camera (100 mega pixel), laser scanner and data recorder among others.
The LiDAR is a remote-sensing technology that measures distance by illuminating a target with a laser and analyzing the reflected light. The GPS unit interacts with GPS satellites to finalise ground control points.
The advantage of LiDAR is that it penetrates through vegetation to identify the accurate level and contour of land. Cross-section of land can be seen without any foliage which will help plan for bridges.
Estimated to cost about Rs. 97,636 crore, 81 per cent of the funding for this project will come by way of a soft loan from Japan.
The high-speed train is likely to benefit about 12,000- 15,000 commuters on the route daily. As per plan, the entire corridor will be on elevated track, except for a stretch of 21 km which will be underground, of which 7 km will pass under sea.