After Cyber city, Hyderabad is now getting set to host ‘Telangana Drone City’ (TDC). The proposed region, to be a facilitation centre for private and government organisations seeking to use drones, is part of the State’s drone policy, which will be finalised in two months. This would make Telangana the first State in India to have its own drone policy.
The proposed TDC will provide high-end infrastructure, including a co-working facility, and would process applications for use of drones. “We are making an online tool for those seeking permission to use drones,” IT department sources told Express on Monday.
“The Telangana Drone City (TDC) would become India’s leading Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) test and business centre,” says the State’s draft drone policy. The test facility would include a free-fly zone, where drone manufacturers and service providers can develop products and services. Besides, the TDC will provide cloud services to drone startups.
While there is a wide range of potential applications for drones, the government’s focus areas are agriculture, energy, municipal administration, mining, irrigation and public safety. It will set up a drone management office or a drone institute to help its departments procure services from drone service providers, official sources said.The institute would empanel vendors so each department wouldn’t have to go through the request for proposal (RFP) process, they added.
‘Drones will give boost to mining, agri sectors in TS’
To develop the drone industry in the State, the draft policy also proposes to provide 100 per cent reimbursement of SGST for seven years, 25 per cent investment subsidy, and other incentives.
According to official sources, the global market for drones is projected to reach $100 billion by 2020, and the fastest growth opportunity would be from government and business spends amounting to about $13 billion.
The usage of drones is spread out across sectors and industries, ranging from construction, agriculture, healthcare, police, insurance, to journalism and cinematography.
The Indian UAV market is expected to reach nearly 4 per cent of the global market. With 22.5 per cent of the world’s UAV imports, the country tops the list of drone-importing countries, officials said, adding that the Aviation Academy would train drone pilots.
Boost for mining sector
“Drones can be used to identify whether the lessee has used the lease area or excess area when mining. We recently used drones on an experimental basis in agriculture in Nalgonda district. The farmers said that with them, the spraying time for pesticides was just two-to-three hours, and they saved several days and a lot of money on engaging labour. The farmers also saved a huge quantity of pesticides,” an official said.
18 vendors ready
According to sources, as many as 18 vendors have given an expression of interest to be part of the State government’s initiative. They added that while the State would act as a facilitator, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) would accord final permission for the use of drones.