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Geo-Infra 2012 focuses on intelligent infrastructure

Gurgaon, India: The focus of Geo-Infra 2012 was on building sustainable and green infrastructure. The session saw a mix of people from industry, government and user communities.

Inaugural session

Speaking about the negligence of urban transport over the years, B I Singal, DG, Institute of Urban Transport, said, “It was only in the 11th Five Year Plan that urbanisation was accepted as a natural outcome of development,” adding, “While Kolkata Metro took off after 11th plan, it was only after Delhi Metro’s success that more and more cities opted for metro.” He also suggested improving bus services and encouraging public-private partnership for major infrastructural projects. He also spoke about the need to promote non-polluting mode of transport. Talking about the 12th Five Year Plan, he said, “There have been several suggestions made for inclusion in the 12th Five Year Plan like improving road condition/ bus services, and introducing metros in urban areas wherever possible,” adding, “There’s a focus on introducing bus services in all cities with population of 200 thousand and above; and add rail transit for population of 2 million and above.”

Geoff Zeiss, Industry Programme Director, Utilities AEC – Autodesk, spoke about the ‘Digital infrastructure for smart cities.’ Speaking about the future of urbanisation, he said, “People want urbanisation to happen as it is directly related to GDP,” adding, “There are plans to build five new cities in Saudi Arabia; and seven new cities between Delhi and Mumbai.” He also talked about the growing importance of green building and clean energy. He suggested incorporating gaming technology with engineering to develop models of infrastructure projects for better understanding of the complexities involved in the task. Talking about 3D and its benefits, he said, “It increases productivity, reduces risks, attracts next generation of designers, and helps build intelligent models of entire cities.”

Rajan Aiyer, Managing Director, Trimble, India, introduced audience to the importance and challenges of infrastructure in today’s environment. “The growing demands of infrastructure have to be met in a sustainable way without destroying environment, economy and society,” he said. He talked about how geospatial data has evolved from paper maps to 3D virtual maps. He also spoke about Trimble’s three core technologies in positioning, communication and information. Speaking about the challenges that geospatial sector faces in India, he said, “There is a lack of qualified professionals in this sector and we need to build awareness about it.” He also advocated customisation of technologies in India, “What’s good in the west, may not be good here. We need to develop technologies and solutions accordingly,” he said.

Building sustainable infrastructure
Talking about urban explosion in terms of population growth rate, Dr Anjana Vyas, Dean, CEPT, India, said, “By 2040, it is estimated that there will be equal distribution of urban and rural population.” She also listed out challenges that are involved in building sustainable infrastructure like transportation, encroachments and so on; and talked about the importance of green infrastructure.

Dr Y. Pari, Head (GeoInformatics), L&T, India, talked about the importance of public transit system. Defining sustainable construction, he said, “It is an attitude, a special way of thinking that runs along with specific technology.” He also spoke about the concept of green buildings and their benefits. “We are now moving from green buildings to green SEZs, green cities, green roads, green airports, etc,” he said.

Meanwhile, Milin D’Silva and Vinod Oommen Ninan from Rolta India, introduced audience to the concept of geospatial fusion, “Geospatial fusion involves integration and collaboration,” said D’Silva. They then talked about GIS’ relevance in asset management, benefits of integrated asset management system with geospatial technology, and the solutions offered by the company in Middle East.

Role of geospatial technologies in roads and highways
S K Popli, Team Leader, Road Safety, RITES, India, introduced audience to the implementation of an effective safety management system. Speaking about GIS based referencing and analysis system, he said, “It enhances the capability of engineers to conduct problem identification and countermeasure evaluation studies.”

Atul Kumar, Chief General Manager (P&IS), NHAI, India, talked about national highways in India and the importance of imagery in carrying out road-related projects. “High resolution satellite imagery can be used for exactly determining the current status of projects, evaluating the progress of work, etc. GIS and satellite technology can be used for building design of highways, road asset management, planning of projects etc.,” he said.

Samitran Sen, Executive Director, Consulting Engineering Services, India, spoke about RIS (Road Information System) and explained the importance of GIS-based RIS. “GIS based RIS is a way forward. It helps in real-time data collection, and automatic data updation.”

Anuradha Shukla, Transport Planning and Environment, CRRI, India, spoke about road transport in economic growth, and presented several case studies to explain the importance geospatial technology in road planning like noise mapping, pollution profile mapping of Delhi, etc.

Dr P K Sikdar, President, ICT Online, India, spoke about the benefits of geotech in highways. “GIS can be used throughout the lifecycle of a project. It can be used for transportation planning, construction management, transportation safety analysis, environment management and so on,” he said.

Jugal Makwana, Global Product Manager, Road & Rail, Bentley India, spoke about huge investment in roads and bridges and explained the concept of asset management. “In order to ensure that our assets are always in a better condition, we require better asset management practices,” he said. He then introduced audience to Bentley’s Integrated Asset Information Solution.

Role of geospatial technologies in railways, ports and aviation

S S Mathur, General Manager-corporate strategy, CRIS, India, spoke in detail about the need to have integrated GIS system in Northern Railways; and how railways is proceeding in this direction. Speaking about the challenges, he said, “Building base map of our assets is one of the biggest challenges before us.”

Satish S. V., General Manager (Gagan), Airport Authority of India (AAI), spoke about the evolution of geospatial technology in aviation and talked about AAI. He presented a documentary of GAGAN to highlight how the system will enhance safety in aviation.

P P Sinha, Deputy  Director General, Directorate General of Lighthouses and Lightships, India, spoke about e-navigation and how it is enhancing safety in maritime operations. He however, had a word of caution, “e-navigation may help in reducing fatigue but should not be used to reduce crew sizes.”

Mahesh Reddy, Technical Manager, Intergraph, India, talked about rail infrastructure management and spoke about the company’s solutions in the sector. He also presented the case study on ‘Infrastructure management for London Railway.’

Source: Our Correspondent