Photo by Bhushan Koyande
Photo by Bhushan Koyande

Mumbai: The Mumbai fire brigade department is waiting for permission since last two years from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation Authority, to allow them to use drones while conducting rescue and fire fighting operations. Currently, the fire department has only one fire fighting ladder that can reach up to 31 floor. However, Mumbai has many skyscrapers even above 60 floors. By flying the drones, the fire officials said, it will help them get a real picture of the situation of the place of origin and condition.

A senior fire brigade department official told The Free Press Journal, they have already asked the Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay (IIT-B) to prepare a customised drone. However, the fire department has still not the green signal to use this drone. They believe they will be allowed to use the drone till particular height.

“The local police does not allow the use of drones due to the restrictions put in place by the DGCA. They issued these restrictions for aircraft safety and other reasons. But, recently we got to know that DCGA is planning to allow us to use the drones with height restrictions, so that it does not hamper the path of aircrafts. They are going to bring a new policy for this after which, the local police will grant the permissions,” the officer stated.

The customised drone, unlike a regular drone carrying a camera, will have a ring buoy. In case a person is seen drowning, the drone will detect the location of the drowning person and the ring buoy will be dropped on that part of sea, so he can try and swim till the lifeguard reaches for his help. Similarly, during the fire fighting operation the drone can help to detect the people stuck inside and need help and according the rescue team can reach. Apart from inspecting the place where fire has erupted. The Sena party corporator and Improvements Committee Chairman Dileep Lande has also demanded that Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) administration provide drones to the fire brigade officials. The demand has come following several tragic fire incidents which have occurred this year.

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