Drones are going to help unclog India’s water logged cities this monsoon



  • The Delhi High Court suggested that India’s national capital use drones to monitor water logged areas of the city to reduce traffic congestion and conduct water harvesting.
  • In Mumbai, the Western Railways are also using drones to monitor train tracks that are prone to flooding.
  • The government will use contractors to deploy camera drones, which will send back pictures from areas deemed vulnerable to waterlogging and flooding.
Every year the monsoon rolls in and India’s major cities, Mumbai and Delhi, are left flooded and water logged in the aftermath.

Underpasses are submerged, potholes turn into mines that cars have to navigate through; and lack of drainage systems turns roads into swimming pools.

This year, the Delhi High Court suggested that the city rope drones to identify and keep an eye on the areas in the city that are vulnerable to excessive water collection. This will help take care of traffic congestion as well as water logging,

The Western Railways in Mumbai too has learnt lessons from last year. It has already contracted drones to keep an eye on the Virar-Nalasopara area, which is prone to water logging.

Technology vs the monsoon

Drones are already used to predict weather patterns and rainfall. But, this is the first time that the governments are using drones for traffic surveillance and keep a check on water logging.

In Delhi, the two-judge bench of Justice GS Sistani and Justice Jyoti Singh said, "We have no hesitation in saying that all the departments would cooperate with each other to ensure that citizens are not inconvenienced during the coming monsoon."

The contractors selected by the government will deploy drones with cameras to areas that are known to be vulnerable, and send images back to the data collection point.

The operators at the data centers will then decide whether or not there is a risk of water logging at the moment and plan the next action.

Before deploying any drones, the police has to approve the use of air space. So far, the Western Railways has only gotten permission for the Virar-Nalasopara area even though other stretches like Frant Road, Prabhadevi, Dadar and Bandra-Khar are also flood prone areas.

Too much water or not enough

In Delhi, the monsoon is a double-edged sword. There’s waterlogging, on the one hand, and a shortage of water, on the other.

The Delhi High Court has suggested that the city use the opportunity of monsoons to harvest water in water clogged areas, to hit two birds with one stone.

The Indian Court took up the issue of water logging on its own, to point out how the resulting traffic congestion leads to loss of time. It also backs up emergency services, and idle engines at traffic jams cause massive air pollution.

See also:
Tatas seeks permit to test drones after Zomato, Swiggy and others

Flying drones in India may be 'legal' — but that doesn’t mean you’re getting doorstep deliveries





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