Published On : Thu, Aug 31st, 2017

Canada-India Collaboration to Make Indian Bridges Safer

Indo Canadian Workshop
Nagpur: Canada India Research Center of Excellence ( organized a Workshop at Radisson Blu Hotel in Nagpur titled: “Digital Monitoring of Critical Infrastructure for Safety and Maintenance” to inform the infrastructure owners of the City of advanced Canadian technologies that can significantly improve the safety of bridges and other critical infrastructure. The technology involves placing advanced sensors on bridges that provide real-time Internet-based data of bridge’s performance, its capacity, current traffic load, and environmental conditions including wind velocities, dynamic fluctuations in loading and expected problems in the future, if any.

Nanda Jichkar, Mayor of Nagpur City, presided over the Workshop which was attended by Ashwin Mudgal (IAS) Municipal Commissioner, NMC; Jordan Reeves, Consulate General of Canada in Mumbai, Dr. Ramnath Sonawane, CEO Nagpur Smart City Project, and Tejinder Singh Renu, Secretary of Vidarbha Taxpayers Association (VTA). With IC-IMPACTS in lead, the Workshop was co-organized by Tata Consulting Services (TCS), Stantec Canada and Starmass Environmental Technologies, Canada.

Dr. Nemy Banthia, Scientific Director and CEO of IC-IMPACTS, who is also a professor of civil engineering at the University of British Columbia in Canada, explained the sensor technology and emphasized the versatility and resilience of the technology which is now being adopted in monitoring scores of structures in Canada, US, Japan, etc. IC-IMAPCTS has developed number or novel sensors and associated analysis algorithms that can, on the one hand, provide terra-bytes of data to fully understand how the different parts of the bridge are functioning, and issue alarms when they are not. If the bridge is facing an imminent collapse, the sensors provide distress signals way ahead of time so the traffic can be diverted, authorities can be informed and corrective measures can be taken. “These sensors are now becoming an indispensable tool in the toolkit of infrastructure owners for sustainable and cost effective management of city’s assets”, said Banthia.

In Nagpur, two bridges have been identified for assessing the said sensorial technology. These include the iconic, cable-stayed bridge Ramjhoola that connects the eastern Nagpur with its western counterparts, and the Panchpaoli Overpass.

IC-IMPACTS is a Canada-India Research Center of Excellence jointly funded by the NCE program in Canada and by the Departments of Science and Technology and Biotechnology in India. The Center has over a hundred professors involved from Canada and India (mostly IITs) and has over 70 industrial partners in the two countries including Reliance Industries Limited, GE, Xerox, Eureka-Forbes, IBM, TCS, etc.

Professor Banthia, a Nagpurian himself, believes that with active collaboration with IC-IMPACTS, Nagpur has a shot at being the smartest city in the country and indeed in the entire world.

“There are immense possibilities for Canada and India both in various sectors. As far as Nagpur is concerned, we discussed role of digital monitoring of critical infrastructure to enhance safety and improve maintenance,” said Jordan Reeves, Consul General of Canada to India, in Mumbai. “It will be kind of a demo project of next generation sensors. The new technology detects even the corrosion of metal. It detects change in stresses. Importantly, it is cheaper. It will be a great project,” Reeves said. Already, he said, 700 people were engaged in various projects in India under Canada-India co-operation. Department of Science and Technology was engaged in at least three major projects including cleaning of holy river Ganga.

Tejinder Singh Renu – Secretary of VTA and Shiraz Doongaji – MD Stewols India (P) Ltd. Nagpur are coordinating between IC-Impacts, NMC and State Government in public interest. Workshop was also attended by Professor Arvind Gupta, former President, UBC, Dr. Hugues Vogel, Bridge Engineer, Stantec, R P Bhivgade – Asstt Commissioner NMC, engineers of NMC and State PWD Vijay Banginwar, Naresh Borkar, Sontake and delegates from TCS & IIT Roorkee.