The rescue operations in Uttarakhand following the glacial burst which led to a flash flood is being carried out by men and machines on the ground from various Indian agencies. But when it comes to efforts in places that are inaccessible to men or heavy machines, drones- the eyes in the sky take flight-a team from Chennai-based company Garuda Aerospace has been assisting the NDRF’s efforts over the last few days.
Team Garuda is said to have received a call from the NDRF deputy commandant, following which, a team of four pilots and four specialized drones left for the rescue site. Each of the drones has a unique capability of its own – from scanning caves and tunnels, using thermal cameras, stringing snapped power and communication lines, carrying essential supplies like food, medicines to even carrying out beyond-line-of-sight assessment of the disaster site, to help predict further events.
“Currently three of our drones are in operation on-site, near Joshimath area. Our long-range assessment drone Identified swell areas, high-risk areas that need an immediate fix. Constant aerial surveillance and assessment is most necessary to issue warnings to people working on the ground. Often, search and rescue ops get delayed/stalled owing to false alarms, in the absence of predictive analysis,” Agnishwar Jayaprakash, Founder, Garuda Aerospace told Zee media.
Garuda Aerospace is a startup supported by the Agnii Mission and Invest India. They had recently showcased their drones’ capabilities at a technology demonstration organized at the 8th Battalion NDRF HQ, Ghaziabad.
Their fleet of drones was also deployed in disinfection efforts against Covid-19 and to spray chemicals during the locust attacks.