CHENNAI: Deployment of drones by the city police had helped rescue members of as many as 25 flood-hit families so far. The high definition (HD) camera on the drone provided real time feed to the monitor-cum-control room, which was operated by Prof Senthil Kumar of Madras Institute of Technology, Chromepet campus.
Prof Kumar was given a VHF equipment through which he contacted a team led by an Inspector and a Sub Inspector and guided them to the rescue spot.
“We thought precious time searching for survivors can be saved if the rescue teams are deployed in the right areas. We wanted to deploy the drone on December 2 itself since that would help rescue people in the most inaccessible areas where rescue teams from the Army and the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) had not ventured out. However, we could do so only on December 3. We thought we need not use it for gathering recce alone. We improvised by establishing communication between the drone handler and the rescue team so that they could reach the spot in real time. We first covered Nandambakkam, Defence Colony, Manappakkam and Eekattuthangal, looking for the stranded in the interior areas,” said a senior police official who was part of the exercise.
“Then we covered Mudichur, Tambaram and Velachery on December 4 and then proceeded to Pallikaranai and Madippakkam on the next day. The drone was deployed in Sriram Nagar in Velachery, Pammal and Shankar Nagar on Saturday,” the official added.