Those planning mischief during public gatherings and habitual traffic rule violators, beware! The Lucknow Police will soon be using drones for everyday policing as their “functional eyes in the sky” that will not only give live feed of an area, but may also shower pepper spray to disperse crowd if it turns unruly.
These unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are already in use in various sensitive parts of Uttar Pradesh for taking aerial photographs, and it will be for the first time they will be used to control crowds.
“We are planning to use these drones to control unruly mobs by showering them with pepper spray. This will be less harsh measure than the lathi-charge and we hope it will be more effective,” said Yashasvi Yadav, senior superintendent of police (SSP), Lucknow.
He said, the Lucknow Police have already placed order to acquire four drones, with capacity of lifting two kg weight. The drones will be used on daily basis in maintaining the law and order and identifying traffic violators.
“Earlier, we used the drone cameras for specific purposes. But, these four drones will help us in daily policing like traffic control and taking the live images of any area. They will fly everyday. We will be able to identify people who violate traffic rules,” he said, adding that the Lucknow Police could be the first to acquire drones for such help in daily policing.
The drones cost about Rs 6 lakh each and can fly up to 500 metre high.
Yadav said Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav will formally launch drones at Modern Police Control Room in Gomti Nagar area of Lucknow on April 12.
The drone camera, he said, made its debut in the city when the district administration deployed it for surveillance last year during Muharram and also during the Lucknow Mahotsav and Republic Day parade.
The drones are aircraft either controlled by ‘pilots’ from the ground or follow a pre-programmed mission. These sentinels in the sky have been seen buzzing in several Hollywood movies. No wonder, some cine stars have evinced interest in the launch of the system here and are likely to be present at the launch event, the SSP said.
Uttar Pradesh Police had recently used drone cameras in Ayodhya to monitor Vishwa Hindu Parishad’s ‘Ram Mahotsava’ on the occasion of Ram Navami.
Drone cameras were used for crowd management and also to monitor activities of people there.
Under the police modernisation initiative, a modern control room that manages the ‘Dial 100’ helpline in the city, has already been set up here. This control room will monitor the drones, the SSP added.
(With PTI inputs)