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India

Unlike Punjab, Drones A Blessing For Himachal; Being Used To Ferry Ration, Medicines, & Apple Boxes

A private company at Nichaar panchayat in Kinnaur on Monday undertook an operation to try drones for lifting apple boxes from orchards located at high altitudes to bring them down to the roadside.

Drone
Image used for Representational Purpose only. (Photo: Twitter/ANI)

Chandigarh: While drones ferrying weapons and drug consignments from across the border have become a headache for Punjab Police, especially in the border areas, in neighbouring Himachal Pradesh drones have come as a blessing.

Owing to the shortage or high cost of labour and to save time, the Himachal Pradesh government has brought in a drone use policy to ferry ration, medicines, and blood samples during emergencies from far-reaching areas, and now also to lift apple boxes from the orchards to the roadside.

A private company at Nichaar panchayat in Kinnaur on Monday undertook an operation to try drones for lifting apple boxes from orchards located at high altitudes to bring them down to the roadside. The trial was successful.

To ferry a box of apples by hiring a labourer takes roughly anything between 10 minutes to an hour depending upon the distance between the orchard and the roadside. However, the drone takes anything between one minute to four minutes in transporting the same. Also, the transportation charges are less.

There are many inaccessible or difficult places to access in this hill state, especially in Bharmour and Tisa in Chamba district, Lahaul Spiti, Kinnaur and Kullu where people have to rely on span bridges and improvised ropeways for transportation of ration, medical supplies, at al. Now people can use drones to not just ferry ration and emergency medical supplies but also blood samples and for the lifting of apple boxes.

HP Approved Drone Use By Police In June

On June 6, the Himachal cabinet approved the Himachal Pradesh Drone Use Policy 2022. The objective was to use technology to bring about ease to the lives of people and help them accrue economic benefits.

On July 12, the HP government reached an agreement with Skye Air to begin drone delivery to the state. Skye Air initially helped in linking up six primary health centres and community health centres in remote areas of the Chamba district covering an aerial distance of more than 150 km.

Another trial of a drone was held to transport medicines between Dharamsala and Tanda medical college in Kangra. Sources say, soon drones will also be used to check illegal mining and felling of trees in the state.

The Department of Information Technology, Himachal Pradesh has initiated the project Garud for promoting governance and reforms using drones. For this, the first drone flying training school has also been started at Shahpur in Kangra in association with Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Udan Akademi. DFTS offers training to drone pilots.

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