Friday, August 24, 2007

Underground utilities on radar

Underground utilities on radar
Prathima Nandakumar | TNN

Bangalore: In June, BBMP drew flak from Bescom for damaging the underground electric cables during road widening along Race Course Road.
BBMP was again cornered when it exposed a portion of the underground drainage near City Market while digging for a new subway. It was handed a bill for Rs 84 lakh by BWSSB.
BBMP is now preparing to move out electric and sanitary lines in Cantonment area to pave way for a new railway underbridge. This time, it is taking no chances.
BBMP is planning to acquire a Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) to detect the network of underground cabling and pipelines. The device can determine the diameter and location of cables. It also captures images of underground assets — utilities storage tanks, watertable, buried artifacts, landmines and graves.
On Thursday, the radar was tested on Bellary Road, where the BBMP has proposed road widening and an underpass. “The software has recorded the underground assets, which will put out a report within a day,’’ said a BBMP official.
“Often, we were left to hazard a guess on the cable network as the service agencies had little idea as to where their cables or pipes were located. But now, we can be assured that no damage will be caused to the cables,’’ explained a senior BBMP official. Apart from losses caused due to damaged cables, there is a huge risk of coming in contact with a live electric wire.
Trial on August 23: The first trial will be held on August 23 near Town Hall, when engineers will be trained to use the device. As the device is expensive, costing about Rs 50 lakh, the BBMP wants to hire the equipment to train its engineers and study its usefulness in ongoing projects.
“Shifting of utilities is a big challenge for the BBMP as it is executing major development projects. The new device will help reduce project delays and cost escalation,’’ officials said.


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