COVID-19: Drones to disinfect market places in Bhubaneswar

Bhubaneswar: The Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) has deployed drones to spray disinfectant across market places. The BMC will now cover the entire North Zone of the civic area. The week-long spraying will start from today night from Chakeisiani Durga Mandap under Mancheswar police limits and will continue till May 5 and end at Pahal Medical Road.

In an innovative attempt to use technology in order to win over the COVID-19 pandemic in the city, BMC in collaboration with the Bhubaneswar Smart City Limited (BSCL), has deployed two drones to spray disinfectant across daily markets and haats in the Temple City. The spraying of disinfectant by drones is not only faster, but has least human interface.

This week-long activity under the North Zone will include six markets/haats under Mancheswar police limits, two under Infocity, seven areas under Chandrasekharpur and one under Balianta police limits. After the North Zone other two administrative zones of BMC will also be covered, as per the directives issued by BMC Commissioner Prem Chandra Chaudhary.

While the markets/haats under Mancheswar will include Chakeisiani Durga Mandap, Palasuni Canal Road, Prachi Vihar High School Field, Over bridge to railway level crossing in VSS Nagar, in front of Adimata Colony near Railway Hospital and GGP Colony High School front, two places under Infocity PS will include Nandan Vihar Square and Prasanti Vihar Hanuman Temple side.

On the other hand, the market places/haats under the CS Pur police limits include: Damana Square road side, Patia Square to Station Road, Niladri Vihar Labour Stand, Tarini Temple Sailashree Vihar area, Acharya Harihar College Road side, park front of Kanan Vihar Phase-I and Buddha Park side. The lone place under Balianta PS is Pahal Medical Road.

There are two drones deployed for the purpose. While the Drone-1 is a spraying type, it has a capacity of 25 minutes flying time with one battery and covers 1.5 km areas with 7.5 litter disinfectant. This is exclusively used to sanitize the targeted areas falling under the justification of BMC.

The Drone-2 is for public announcement and surveillance. It has one battery and 25 minute of flying time. It is being used to make public announcement to mitigate the risk may further mount up due to public gathering. It can also be used for community awareness and deployed to accompany the spraying drone for better and effective spraying and mitigating unforeseen risk during night time involving any citizen movement.

It can be mentioned here that while the pilot flying of the drones was carried out between Rajmahal Square and Sishu Bhawan Square on April 14. Later from April 15 to 22 the drones were engaged to spray disinfectant in 17 major market places/haats across the city. They were: Unit I Daily Market, Unit II Market Building, Indradhanu Daily Market, Ruchika Daily Market, Saheed Nagar Daily Market, Maa Kochilei Daily Market, Unit III Daily Market, Unit IV Daily Market, Nageswar Tangi Daily Market, Old Town Daily Market, BJB Nagar Daily Market, Bapuji Nagar Kiosks, Damana Haat, VSS Nagar Daily Market, Gandamunda Daily Market, Siripur Daily Market and Kapilaprasad Weekly Market.

Many Smart Cities across the nation are using drones for surveillance and spraying of the disinfectants to use smart technology for urban welfare/fighting against the COVID-19 pandemic.

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