Mumbai Police uses drones to monitor public gatherings amid Lockdown

Mumbai: Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV), commonly known as drones, have increasingly become a very useful tool to maintain discipline among citizens amidst the lockdown across the country. Mumbai Police is all set to use drones in high-risk areas to monitor public gatherings, ensure social distancing, and spray disinfectant over affected areas with dense populations and in containment zones.

Maharashtra is the worst hit state in the country for CoVID-19, and Mumbai has emerged as its epicentre. The BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and Mumbai Police are putting in all efforts to contain the spread by ensuring that people follow the lockdown rules and observe social distance. "The use of drones will help maximise the police's reach in dense, difficult to reach pockets and become their eyes in the sky. We too can act on the police input to ensure residential societies are not flouting norms," said a senior BMC official.

The use of drones has already begun in a few containment zones to spray disinfectant. Home Minister Anil Deshmukh was given a demonstration of the same at Worli last week.

Using these drones, which can record videos while hovering above, both the police and civic body have been warning those found loitering outside violating the lockdown.

Recently, a team of BMC health officials visited a housing society in Tardeo after they received a video of residents gathering on the terrace of the building playing cricket. "We asked them what their problem was and whether they were not aware of the situation and lockdown rules. We warned them that we have video evidence against them," one of the officials said.

From busting secret terrace parties to catching youth playing cricket on the terrace and on empty, deserted streets, the camera-mounted drones, will help both Mumbai Police and BMC in enforcing the coronavirus lockdown in an effective manner across the city.

"To dodge the police, people have started gathering on terraces. Luckily, we can use drones to keep a check on such violators. Drones will prove effective in creating fear among people, as they are soon realising that they can no longer assemble and hide on their terraces or in remote corners of their localities," said a senior BMC official.

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