The drones developed by the Indian Institute of Technology in Kanpur (IIT-Kanpur) are in use for weeks by the Kanpur Police for surveillance of coronavirus hotspots and containment zones, and ensure that lockdown rules are followed. The move may, however, invite criticism of invasion of personal space.
“IIT Kanpur has developed night vision drones that are being used for monitoring and surveillance of Covid-19 hotspots in Kanpur city. The drones are being used by Kanpur City Police to monitor containment zones to ensure that lockdown norms are followed. The night vision drones are helping the city police to keep a watch on various hotspots around the city," the union ministry of housing and urban affairs twitted Tuesday.
“Enhanced picture quality of the glider drone camera seems to support the monitoring and surveillance activities. Police departments in other states such as West Bengal and Gujarat are also exploring the use of drones to monitor hot spots," the ministry added.
Kanpur has reported over 320 cases of corona virus but it has now less than 30 active cases. India has so far reported more than 145,000 cases of covid-19, of which at least 4167 people have died.
This is not the first time IIT Kanpur is helping the Uttar Pradesh police in monitoring movements during difficult times. Aerial surveillance, monitoring software, and help in data analytics are among a set of support that IIT Kanpur provided to the UP police ahead of the politically-sensitive Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute Supreme Court judgement in November.