Chennai-based drone maker roped in for Uttarakhand rescue operations

Garuda Aersopace said the NDRF had sought the company’s drones to look for survivors inside the tunnel, carry emergency supplies and string cables across a river

As rescue teams continue to look for survivors in Uttarakhand’s Chamoli district following the avalanche, the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has deployed the services of city-based drone maker Garuda Aerospace Pvt Ltd to assist in the operations.

Garuda Aerospace is a ‘Drone As A Service Provider’ (DAAS) and has its presence across seven metro cities in the country.

Agnishwar Jayaprakash, Managing Director, Garuda Aerospace said that the NDRF had sought the company’s drones to look for survivors inside the tunnel, carry emergency supplies and string cables across a bridge that has been washed away.

Mr. Jayaprakash said one of the drones is fitted with lights, and can be sent inside the tunnels and has thermal-sensing cameras and will use heat signatures to look for survivors. This drone by the company, is used extensively in Africa for mining operations, he said. The teams also wanted a drone to string cables from one side of the river to the other side, as all the cables passing through the bridge were washed away along with the bridge.

“We have also sent a drone that can carry weights of upto 15-20 kg to carry emergency supplies such as food, medicines and other essential supplies to the people there. It is easier to deploy this than using a helicopter,” he said.

Mr. Jayaprakash said the company’s team was airlifted from Dehradun on Tuesday and another team was sent on Wednesday morning and that both the teams were now working at the spot. He also shared the requisition letter from the NDRF deputy Inspector General K. K. Singh. When contacted, Mr. Singh said they had indeed sought the services of the drones from Garuda Aerospace

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