The possibility of employing drones to facilitate routine daily operations has authorities of the Karnataka government all excited.
In a three pronged trial, drones will be used for observation and feedback in the fields of agriculture, urban development, and policing in Haveri, DK, and Bengaluru.
Announcing the pilot project, IT & BT Principal Secretary, Gaurav Gupta, informed media persons that a recommendation to the government for taking up specific applications to demonstrate end-to-end practices for use of drones in governance was made by space scientist K. Kasturirangan who heads the Karnataka Knowledge Commission.
For the demo in agriculture, the state has chosen an agriculture field 200 square km, located in Kasaba hobli of Haveri. There will be about six drones, with a maximum resolution of 24.3 megapixels that will cover about 200 sq km to assess crop acreage, crop types, crop health and yield estimation. The drones will operate during the entire kharif crop season o f 3 months to monitor a complete crop life-cycle.
A similar survey of the 60 square km in Bantwal town of Dakshina Kannada will be completed by drones to help provide inputs to develop an ideal master plan for the town. Property tax estimation for the core town will also be carried out based on drone inputs.
The third application of drones will be in policing in Bengaluru. Karnataka Science & Technology Promotion Society (KSTePS) will implement this pilot project in collaboration with departments concerned. The part of the demo project in Bengaluru will involve real-time crowd monitoring and surveillance and vehicular traffic surveillance and management at select places.
Participating at the launching ceremony of the pilot project Agriculture Minister N.H. Shivashankara Reddy said the government was looking towards using drones for conducting a statewide survey of crops and land holdings to get accurate data.
Medium and large scale industries Minister K J George on Thursday launched a pilot project. Mr. George said, “The government of Karnataka will shortly announce a policy for use of drones in agriculture, urban development and police civic operations. The policy will also focus on design and manufacture of drones locally. The government has made a grant provision of 2.5 crore for implementation of the projects.”
Omnipresent Robot Tech will be responsible for carrying out the drone operations for the projects.