BENGALURU: If all goes well, Karnataka will soon become the first state in the country to use drones in all its departments. The state government is planning to come up with a comprehensive policy on using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) in various government departments following Karnataka Jnana Ayoga (KJA) recommendations. Drones will be used in the state to gather information on drought, monitor crowds, tackle forest fire, survey encroachment and perform several other tasks.
KJA, headed by former ISRO chairman K Kasturirangan, is framing the draft policy and recommendations will be submitted to Chief Minister Siddaramaiah in June.
The major departments, which are likely to use drones for the benefit of public at large, include Agriculture, Home, Tourism, Rural Development and Panchayat Raj, Urban Development, Fisheries and others.
“There are infinite ways in which drones could be used. If the state brings in a drone policy, unmanned aerial vehicles could also be used to get real-time information on major infrastructure projects, monitor natural calamities and assess the number of properties in urban local bodies. UAVs can be used to spray pesticides on an agriculture land too. The drones can move up to 100 acres of land,” KJA official sources told Express.
“For every task, we need to study the feasibility, size of the drones, stability, size of the wing, cameras and other aspects. A lot of research is required in this field,” they added.
KJA is planning to encourage state universities to take up research and development works. “Academicians’ knowledge on drones could help the state in long run,” said a KJA member.
Mukund K Rao, Member Secretary, KJA said their report on unmanned aircraft system would be comprehensive.
KJA has formed a study committee with eminent people from IITs, NAL and NIAS as members.
“Unlike US, India is not much in favour of adopting drones. But drones are the future and they could help both the government and public in several ways,” said an academician.
‘Private drones are threat’
City Police Commissioner Praveen Sood said flying private drones is strictly prohibited in India. They pose a threat to the security. “We do not allow any drones in city,”he said.
USES OF DRONES
To study impact of drought in remote areas
Getting real-time information on major infras-tructure projects
To monitor crowds at big events
During natural calamities
To survey encroachment of land, lakes and drains
Assess number of properties in urban local bodies