Social Drones will use its surveillance data to chart out a plan to extend relief to the stranded and the needy

A Mumbai-based aircraft manufacturer has been deploying its drones to photograph disaster-hit areas in Uttarakhand’s Uttarkashi district.

Social Drones, an organisation which designs and manufactures drones and develops innovative solutions for disaster-management, has been carrying out aerial surveillance of areas such as Gangori and Maneri, which were ravaged by heavy rains and floods that engulfed in June. The organisation uses indigenously-made unmanned aerial vehicles.

While some survived the mid-June catastrophe, they have little access to any form of relief.

Social Drones Chief Operating Officer (COO) Rajesh Mane said landslips are still occurring in many areas. “Our aim is to document the extent of disaster through images and then make these images available to anyone who would want to work towards relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction in these disaster-hit areas.”

In the 14 days of surveillance conducted so far, the organisation used remote-controlled quadcopters that took detailed images from an altitude of about 300 metres. “In the preliminary stage we documented the extent of the disaster through aerial photography, surveillance, and navigation in the Uttarkashi region, which is amongst the worst-hit areas in the State. We will now analyse the data that we have collected via our drones and chart out a plan to extend relief to the needy” said Mr. Mane.

Quadcopters used by the organisation can carry material weighing up to 1 kg. Mr. Mane said though surveillance and aerial photography were the primary objectives of his company’s drones, lightweight material such as medicines weighing up to 1 kg could be delivered to the required areas in case of an emergency.

Mr. Mane said the organisation was looking to bring in octocopters, which can carry material almost thrice as heavy as quadcopters can and, in an emergency situation, could deliver more material to the required areas.

At present, Social Drones is working in the Uttarkashi region in collaboration with an organisation called Help India 2013, which is also working to provide aid to affected locals. He said, “We will also try to enter into collaboration with some other organisations to extend our support to other disaster-hit areas in the State.”

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