Implementing agencies of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways engaged in development and maintenance of national highways will rely on advanced technologies like Light Detection and Ranging to prepare feasibility studies and detailed project reports.

The implementing agencies for national highways and other centrally sponsored schemes have been given instructions by MoRTH to incorporate the use and application of LIDAR and other similar technologies in the Terms of Reference adopted for preparation of DPRs and feasibility studies in the future.

LIDAR is an established method for collecting very dense and accurate elevation data across landscapes, shallow-water areas and project sites. The active remote sensing technique is similar to radar but uses laser light pulses instead of radio waves. It is typically ‘flown’ or collected from planes where it can rapidly collect points over large areas. LIDAR is also collected from ground-based stationary and mobile platforms. These collection techniques are popular among the surveying and engineering communities across the world since they produce extremely high accuracies and point densities, thereby permitting development of precise, realistic, three-dimensional representations of railroads, roadways, bridges, buildings, breakwaters and other shoreline structures.

Collection of elevation data using LIDAR has several advantages over most other techniques. These include higher resolutions, centimeter accuracies and ground detection in forested terrain.

According to MoRTH, it has become necessary to adopt modern and established technologies for land survey, engineering design, quantity estimation and project monitoring in order to deal with the issues of cost-overruns and delays that currently plague national highway projects. A source associated with the highway sector pointed out though that adoption of modern technologies alone would not lead to any major changes on the ground.

“At present, the consultants who are engaged by the National Highways Authority of India for preparing DPRs and feasibility studies in turn outsource the work to other part-time consultants. As a result, the task suffers. The consultants routinely manipulate data under pressure from NHAI to cut costs. Also, given that there are limited number of consultants available for preparing DPRs and feasibility studies, the same consultant is often engaged by NHAI as well as the developer and lender. In such cases, the consultant makes minor modifications in the DPR prepared for NHAI and gives it to the developer and lender. Since preparation of DPR takes considerable time, the information contained in it gets outdated by the time of submission to NHAI. Adoption of modern technologies will not help address these issues. The consultant should be held accountable for errors and omissions in the DPR,” the source told Projectmonitor.

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  1. brief but good article. enjoyed.

    can i get a name of some consultants having facility of LIDAR technology and working in India


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