Kerala to hold drone survey of quarries

The government will soon hold a drone survey of quarries across the state with a view to creating a digital repository of quarries. The process involves quarry mapping, stockpile surveying, volume extraction etc.

A first-of-its-kind initiative in the State, the Mining and Geology department will undertake the survey in association with Keltron.

The department held a pilot study in two quarries in Thiruvananthapuram, where taluk surveyors held conventional surveys using total station method before carrying out LiDAR mapping, a remote sensing survey method using drones. An analysis of the data collected using the two methods proved the new technology is feasible for surveying all quarries in the State, says Harikishore S., Director, Department of Mining and Geology.

“It will take two years to complete the exercise. Keltron will be instructed to develop the software required for the purpose. First, the survey will estimate the geospatial data of the quarry along with stockpiles as part of making an inventory. This inventory will be cross-checked every year using the same technology, by which we can ascertain the volume of materials excavated during a certain period, ”says Mr. Harikishore.

Though the exercise is limited to preparing a digital inventory of quarries in the initial phase, the topographic data collected can be used for analyzing vulnerability to landslips, preventing potential damage by taking precautionary measures.

The Geographic Information System (GIS) -based drone survey will also significantly save manpower on data collection compared to the traditional manual survey. As per stats available with the department, there are 589 licensed quarries in the state, while there were also hundreds of quarries functioning illegally.

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