Visitors to the Ramlila or Durga Puja Pandal this year were not only under the watchful eyes of the Delhi Police on the ground, but in the air too. The Delhi Police have successfully conducted its trial run of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or drones to boost their surveillance capabilities in crowded areas.
Before this latest attempt, these eyes in the skies were used by the traffic police at Rafi Marg to monitor traffic.
“It is a very useful tool to monitor both traffic as well as law and order. It can also be used to catch a thief in narrow lanes. The drones come with a technology where we can tag a bike and it can tell us the location of the vehicle,” said Muktesh Chander, special CP (traffic), who also heads the technical committee to purchase new equipment for Delhi Police.
Officials said the drones used for the trial run were of high quality and capable of working well up to 2-3 km radius.
“It produced good quality images and can be remote-controlled. If contact is lost, it comes with a technology where it will return to the designated path,” said a senior Delhi Police official, requesting anonymity.
Sources said that one drone will cost ` 20-30 lakh and the Delhi Police will float tenders soon.
Currently, the Delhi Police are in the process of finalising the specifications for the drones and will most likely prefer ones of 2m length and 1m wide.
Though senior officials are ready to induct this in the Delhi police’s repertoire, they are currently in talks with the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to check if they have any objection.
“Before induction, we will take the Directorate General of Civil Aviation into confidence. The feedback of the trial run will be submitted. We need to keep pace with the latest technologies and this is an ideal tool. If required, we will conduct another trial run in markets during Diwali,” the official added.