DEHRADUN: Wildlife enthusiasts and visitors to famed Corbett Tiger Reserve (CTP) where Prime Minister Narendra Modi shot "Man vs Wild with Bear Grylls" will be able to shoot pictures and videos using drones in the protected sanctuary soon. In one of its kind initiative, the Uttarakhand forest department is going to allow drone photography and vediography in the state's forests and protected areas.
Parag Madhukar Dhakate, co-ordinator of 'Forest Drone Force' of Uttarakhand forest department said, "The decision has been taken to promote ecotourism and make the state more friendly for wildlife enthusiasts and conservationists. The drones weighing less than 250 grams do not require permission from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation which will make it easy for the department to grant permission to be operated by enthusiasts."
However, for these drones too, permission from the department will be required and every picture and video will only make out in public only after clearance of state forest department. The officials of the state forest department also added that no permission to play drones will be granted at international border areas of Uttarakhand. The state is home to two tiger reserves including famed CTP and seven sanctuaries.
Commenting on the move, visitors appreciated the move. Mumbai-based wildlife enthusiast Puneet Sudesh Sachdeva, who visits the CTP every year, said, "The move is thrilling as now pictures and videos will be possible with lesser risk for human and wildlife both. I hope security concerns will be taken care of."
Last year in December, Uttarakhand became the first state in the country to have its special force of drones to keep tab on criminal activities in forest areas.
The 'Forest Drone Force', equipped with 25 drones focuses on checking illegal mining, patrolling high altitude areas, illegal tree felling, poaching and various other anti-wildlife and anti-environment activities. The wing titled- 'Uttarakhand Forest Drone Force- Warriors of the Forests' helps the department in patrolling high altitude areas, monitor wildlife, check illegal mining and check cases of forest fires across the state forests.