Drones in India have emerged as the go to technology partner when it comes to managing healthcare and identification in densely populated areas, sanitizing large areas with disinfectants, monitoring traffic and lockdown violators and aiding the fight against COVID-19 in the country. From Mumbai Police, to the Government of Jammu and Kashmir, to authorities in Telangana, Kerala, New Delhi and various other parts of the country are using drones to disinfect, monitor and track urban areas and residents.
The view from above is critical to disaster management response and has played a key role in other relief operations for over two decades. This however has been very satellite dependent, but the challenge with satellites is that they present quite a few limitations such as cost, data restrictions, cloud cover and the time it takes to acquire the imagery.
In contrast, drones can capture much higher resolution aerial images at a fraction of the cost and can be flown at anytime required. In addition to capturing imagery they can also be used to monitor even the most infected areas without posing a risk to human operators. This approach is extremely important for community resilience and disaster response.
Drones in Jammu & Kashmir
Jammu and Kashmir police has pressed drones into service in Srinagar as well as other parts of the Valley to monitor the COVID-19 situation and make people aware of the restrictions imposed by administration in response to the current pandemic. These drones are also being used to check whether there are any violations of prohibitory orders.
Drones in New Delhi
Drones are being used in Delhi to enforce social distancing on the roads, spraying disinfectants and are being adopted by the police as an extension to their forces. The Police are also using drones extensively to keep watch on places like grocery shops, banks and religious places.
Drones in Maharashtra
In Maharashtra, the Government is using data analytics, drones and traditional patrolling methods to deal with containment in crowded places. Drones are also monitoring the movement on streets and if a congregation of people is witnessed in any area, police teams are sent to take action.
Also read: A Stop to Remember
Drones in Telangana
In Telangana drones are being equipped with surveillance cameras and thermal imaging payloads. Thermal is providing monitoring abilities to the authorities at night and are helping in strict implementation of the lockdown. Drones in the state are also bring equipped with sky speakers to keep the public informed.
Drones in Kerala
The Kerala State Police has deployed 350 drones for surveillance in the state and has been using drones to monitor the streets for those who are violating the lockdown. The police are then posting these videos on the department’s official social media handles, many of which have gone viral.