NEW DELHI: Ahead of January 26, the city police plan to buy two drones from the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) for `70 lakh as a part of security arrangements.
A proposal has been sent to the Ministry of Home Affairs and the DRDO regarding the procurement of the devices.
The Delhi Police have requested for the flying instrument called Netra UAV (QuadCopter), which the DRDO developed in collaboration with ideaForge.
“This instrument can be extremely useful for surveillance during VVIP functions organised in Delhi from time to time as well as when law and order is threatened,” the missive said.
It further pointed out that the drones were hired, used and tested successfully by the police on different occasions, including Independence Day, Chhath Puja and Muharram. The city police also stated that the drones would prove effective in riot hit areas.
Netra UAV has a line-of-sight range of about four kilometre and one time flight duration of 40 minutes. It can carry normal as well as night vision cameras, a senior police officer said. “It can also lock onto a particular vehicle or target while on flight and has a get-back-home feature in the event of loss of connection,” the officer said.
The company manufacturing the device on behalf of the DRDO has also assured the Delhi police that they will be able to give ‘Proprietary Certificate’. Further, the city police stated the force now requires two drones, which will cost a total of `70 lakh.
In the meantime, the Delhi Police is also making Standing Operating Procedure to control flying private drones as it is security threats. After a high-level meeting with the Intelligence Bureau, the Ministry of Home Affairs, CISF, CRPF and other police departments, the Delhi Police have been asked to prepare a draft on “how to regulate private drones”.
In Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai, several cases and instances of aerial intrusions have taken place in the last one year, including at airports and high security zones. Last year, an unidentified person was spotted flying a drone near the high security Vijay Chowk intersection close to Rashtrapati Bhavan and Parliament.
The police found that a Russian Embassy official was operating a flying object — suspected to be a drone — which was seen hovering around 20 to 30 feet above the ground. As drones are easily available in the market, police will book shopkeepers who sell them.