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India needs mindset more than skillset to go digital in construction

India is setting new records in infrastructure development by building many of the world’s biggest, tallest, largest, highest, and the longest structures.

Today 1/3rd of the country’s population are living in the cities and with the enormous pace India is urbanizing. It is expected that by 2050, around half of the country’s population would be residing in urban areas, needing sustainable infrastructure and services for enhanced quality of life. Such infrastructure and services can only be ensured through modern urban governance.

In 20th edition of Geosmart India 2019 the session on “Building Infrastructure for a New India” at HICC (Hyderabad International Convention Center) threw light on some of the biggest project of the Government of India that has moved from conventional to digital construction.

Pravir Pandey, Vice Chairman, Indian Waterways Authority of India said that, “there has been a quantum jump from 5 to 111 National Highways from 1986 when the first inland waterways authority of India. Taking digital initiative the organization has developed state-of-art river Information System which is operational from Haldia-Farakka-Patna. Patna-Varanasi stretch is also under implementation. Port Community System is another initiative which is an electronic solution for transparent logistic flow.” With the help of geospatial technologies, Indian Waterways Authority of India is reviving the oldest of transportation, he added further.

Sahibganj Multimodal Terminal, Industrial Cluster Logistic near Sahibganj Multimodal Terminal, Farakka Navigation Lock, Freight Village and Logistic Hub near Varanasi Multimodal terminal, etc. are other projects of the organization which is leveraging the power of digital technologies to bring economic and cultural enhancement and regional connectivity.

The power of Geospatial is also aiding in the construction of large railway projects of India. In the ambitious bullet train project of the Government of India, LiDAR technology was used to survey the entire stretch of the project starting from Ahmedabad to Mumbai. Talking on the same Hitesh Khanna, Executive Director, Planning of National High Speed Rail Corporation of India said, “I am a great admirer of geospatial technology. With this every location can be picked up or established independently, data collection grid is very dense and also it gives higher accuracy in minimal time, even for local data collection”.

Continuing further Khanna said that, in India Government is the biggest owner of the large infrastructure in India thus they need to talk in geospatial language right from the project conception stage to achieve maximum success.

Giving impetus to Khanna’s voice Ramakrishnan Ramamurthy, Principal Associate of GMR Group said, “India needs mindset not skillset to go digital in construction as the skill is already there”. “Globally countries are facing infrastructure deficient and if the current trajectory of underinvestment continues, the world will fall short by roughly 11% he added further.

Head of Marketing, Asia Pacific, Faro Singapore said that 2050 approx. 6.6 billion of the world population will be living in cities that means there is urgent need to improve our cities and make them sustainable and geospatial is the only key to achieve that.


In it interesting to note that Construction has 9% Share in India’s GDP with almost $16.6 Bn new investment in road infrastructure with almost 51 Million people employed. By 2025 construction market in India is expected to emerge as the third largest globally.

India has the 4th largest railway system in the world with a passenger traffic growth of 6.1%; 25.2% freight traffic growth over the past 8 years.

The construction of highways has reached an all-time high average pace of 27 km per day with India having a well-developed framework for Public-Private Partnership in the highway sector.  The GoI is planning to expand the national highway network and is implementing strategic initiatives such as Bharatmala Pariyojana, which aims to boost 66,100 km of economic corridors, border and coastal roads, and expressways to boost the highway network.

Also Read: Geospatial technologies will be instrumental in building ‘New India’