DEHRADUN: Uttarakhand government has planned to set up the country’s first Drone Project Management Unit for research and development, as well as training officials of various departments to operate and use drones in wildlife conservation, mining operations and various other fields.
The unit is being planned at Sahastradhara Road, over a 24,000 square metre area.
RK Sudhanshu, secretary, information technology department said, “The unit will be developed as a centre of excellence with the help of experts and staff, who are to be recruited soon. This is the first-of-its-kind initiative in the country.”
Centres for training the staff to build a skilled workforce to operate various kinds of drones, mainly for use in the civilian sector, are also being developed in Rishikesh, Haridwar and Pithoragarh districts.
Drone usage is gradually picking up in various sectors of the hill state where 9 of the 13 districts are considered hilly and not easily accessible.
In July, the district administration of Nainital decided to deploy drones to keep a check on illegal construction.
As part of the plan, four drones are to be provided to ‘Lake Development Authority’ to keep track of littering in canals of the lake town, prevent illegal construction, put a check on unplanned development and minimize risks of ecological disasters.
In May, in a first-of-its-kind initiative, the Uttarakhand forest department had deployed drones, fitted with microphones, to issue alerts, provide necessary contact details and other precautionary measures to check forest fires.