THIRUVANANTHAPURAM:This may have been an isolated incident, but it does raise questions about the vulnerability of the vital installations in the city. On Sunday evening, a helicam launched to shoot videos for a marriage, malfunctioned and fell on the roof of a house near Pangode military camp. The incident points out the fact that such unmanned devices can be used in the future to spy on or even carry out attacks on important installations in the city.
In fact, the protection of these vital buildings and establishments are under stake with more people preferring to use ‘unmanned aerial vehicles’ (UAVs) or ‘civilian drones’ to shoot marriage and public functions.
The city has many sensitive institutions such as the Southern Air Command, Pangode Military Station, Coast Guard Vizhinjam, VSSC, Brahmos Aerospace Limited and many public institutions. Hence, it is high time that some regulations are enforced to protect these important installations, sources said.
It is learnt that there is no surveillance mechanism in place to at any of these institutions to monitor the activities of such UAVs.
However, there is in place an order which had been issued by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation(DGCA) banning civilian drones in the Indian skies on October 24 last year. But it seems that the public are unaware of the same.
In the notice issued by DGCA, it has been stated that no one can fly drones in Indian airspace until further notice as they pose serious security threat.
According to the state police top officials, the restrictions on such cameras are the need of the hour and it will be implemented by the Union Government very soon. “As far as the state police are concerned, we are very particular about this matter. The Union Home Ministry is planning to frame strict rules and regulations against the misuse of such unmanned aerial vehicles. As the restrictions would come into force across the nation, we will also implement the law by giving strict directions to the respective police units in the state,” said a top police official on condition of anonymity.
Civilian drones are small UAVs usually fitted with cameras that are used for surveillance, shooting public functions, wedding ceremonies and films. Mostly, drones are less than two metres long and one metre in width and weigh less than two kg. These remote-controlled drones fly at an average speed of around 40 kmph.
■ On Sunday a helicam fell on top of a house near Pangode military station
■ Helicams, UAVs and drones are being used by people to shoot parties, weddings and films
■ No strictures are in place to monitor these unmanned devices
■ These devices can be used to spy on or even carry out attacks on vital installations
■ There is a DGCA order in force banning civilian drones
■ The Union Home Ministry is planning to frame strict rules