4. Robotic technology deployed to test railway bridges
- The Southern Railway has deployed a Robotic Remote Operated Vehicle to assess the strength of bridge substructures under water. The new technology provides accurate images and data of damage such as erosion or formation of cavities on pillars under water
- “When we deployed divers to assess the strength of the substructure under water it used to take at least ten days to complete one bridge. Now it takes just one day. The findings are accurate and corroborated with photographs and videos. We are now able to get the dimensions and exact location of cavities for corrective measures,” a senior Railway official said on Thursday.
5. Polymerised road a non-starter
- Road works using shredded plastic remains a non-starter in Kochi Corporation despite a government directive that it should be encouraged as a sustainable solution to the issue of plastic refuse.road works to the tune of ₹100 crore were being carried out in Kochi Corporation in a financial year.
- A circular issued by the chief engineer of the Local-Self Government Department on June 20 last year had directed the executive engineers of three-tier panchayats and superintending engineers of municipalities and corporations to strictly ensure that shredded plastic was used in 20% of . Officials said the corporation could save at least 22 by using 1 kg of shredded plastic for 1 kg of bitumen for road laying, which costs around 45 per kg.
6. Forest Department to get a 24×7 helpline
- Forest Department which set up the first helpline in January 2017, is encouraging. Barely a few months after the helpline was launched, a tip-off led to an inquiry against two forest officials accused of corruption.
- Punati Shridhar, Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (Wildlife), said the helpline would complement a proposed wildlife crime control cell that will act as an intelligence and coordinating body between agencies such as forest mobile squads, police, and the CID’s wildlife crime cell.
7. India, ASEAN eye quick RCEP closure
- Commit to use India’s $1-billion line of credit to enhance connectivity as per master plan for 2025. With an aim to further trade ties, India and ASEAN on Friday agreed to target a swift conclusion to the comprehensive and mutually beneficial Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) in 2018.
- Both sides also reaffirmed their commitment to enhance physical and digital connectivity in line with the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity 2025 and the ASEAN ICT Masterplan (AIM) 2020 by availing the $1-billion line of credit