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Drone deployment during Jamboo Savari

Shankar Bennur
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This is the first time a UAV is being used for Dasara security

Security cover to the most-anticipated Dasara event, the Jamboo Savari or the Vijayadashami procession, is expected to reach a new high as the Mysore city police have proposed to use an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), also known as a drone, for the aerial surveillance of the 5-km procession route.

People in lakhs gather along the procession route, from Statue Circle to Bannimantap, to watch the Dasara finale, mainly the lead elephant carrying the 750-kg golden howdah and the eleven other caparisoned elephants.

Despite elaborate security on the ground, the police also opted for aerial scanning of the procession path. This will keep tab of the entire area with the help of live images retrieved from the UAV, which is equipped with a high-resolution camera.

This is the first time that the police are deploying a UAV for Dasara security.

Speaking to The Hindu on Friday, Police Commissioner M.A. Saleem said more technology-oriented approaches had been proposed for the security during the 10-day festivities. “We are in talks with an agency in Mumbai, which is equipped with the technology and expertise of operating the UAV. The services of the aerial vehicle will be used for a few hours during Jamboo Savari,” he said. Mr. Saleem said a separate team (which also includes police) would be tracking live images secured from the UAV. It records the proceedings on the ground and sends images to the technical team monitoring the footage.

Besides, live pictures from 42 CCTVs installed at vantage positions along the procession route would be tracked by a team of police personnel at the Master Control Room set up at the Police Commissioner’s Office at Nazarabad.

Mr. Saleem said the installation of CCTVs was in progress and they would be functional from October 1 itself. To a query, he said: “The surveillance of the procession route will start early as we want to keep tab of the happenings even before the festivities commence.”

Apart from the procession route, 16 cameras would be installed at Chamundi hills, which records highest tourist arrivals in Dasara season, and 24 cameras at Dasara exhibition grounds.

On the request of the city police, the police headquarters has sent a bomb disposal squad, he said.

Mr. Saleem, who is in charge of the Dasara procession, said there was no word from the Defence Ministry on whether the Army will participate in the procession on October 14. “The government had requested the Ministry to send the Army weaponry for participation in the procession. So far, we have not got any confirmation,” he added.



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