The police departments in Sangli, Maharashtra, and Guwahati, Assam, have deployed drones to enforce the Covid-19 lockdown and mitigate the spread of the virus. Navi Mumbai-based ideaForge, a manufacturer of drones for defence, security and industrial applications, has provided the equipment.

The company, in a media statement, said the drones provide real-time intelligence to the police command and control centre, local patrol vans and ground personnel. In the event of any local disturbances, police vans or ground forces can be immediately dispatched to the site. The drones also reduce response time, which is particularly useful in times of crisis, the statement said.

The drones are helping the police monitor public spaces and building terraces more effectively, the company claimed. They have been able to optimise resource deployment in areas which are not covered by CCTV cameras, and narrow bylanes.

In Guwahati, the police are flying the drones twice in the morning and twice in the evening. The drones fly in a radius of 2-3 kilometres.

Ankit Mehta, CEO, ideaForge, said the drones are force multipliers as they enable authorities to cover a larger area with the same manpower.