Dunzo said it is leading a med-air consortium to conduct BVLOS (Beyond Visual Line of Sight) drone delivery for the state government’s 'Medicine from the Sky Project'

A white-coloured drone with a camera attached in the airImage for representation
Atom Coronavirus Wednesday, June 02, 2021 - 11:36

On-demand delivery platform Dunzo announced on Tuesday that it is piloting the delivery of medicines via drones with the Telangana government. Dunzo said it is leading a med-air consortium to conduct BVLOS (Beyond Visual Line of Sight) drone delivery for the government’s 'Medicine from the Sky' project'. The impetus, Dunzo said, would be to enable medical deliveries including COVID-19 vaccines. The project aims to serve different districts in the state.   

“The drone delivery system will focus on an end-to-end ecosystem for drone-based logistic transportation and utilize the existing logistics network of the state,” Dunzo said in a statement. The ‘Medicine from the Sky’ project received conditional approval at the end of April from the Ministry of Civil Aviation and the Director-General of Civil Aviation to deploy drones for delivering COVID-19 vaccines. The Telangana government had got permission to carry out experimental deliveries of COVID-19 vaccines within the Visual Line of Sight (VLOS) Range, or roughly 500 metres, for a period of one year. After this approval, the trials for considering the BVLOS range was to begin.

In April, the Telangana government said 'Medicine from the Sky' will attempt undertaking BVLOS flights in Vikarabad district of Telangana with the Area Hospital as the take-off site and various PHCs and sub-centres as the landing sites. It said that each drone would carry a combination of dummy vials and regular vaccines over the course of the trials and this data will be used for further policies regarding full-scale adoption. “The program shall be of 24 days, where the 8 selected consortia would be divided into 4 batches of 2 consortia, and each batch would perform the sorties for 6 days. A week to conduct on-ground recces would also be given to all consortia before the start of the program,” it had said.

“Telangana is one of the most proactive states looking to adopt emerging technologies, and the ‘Medicine from the Sky’ project using drones is in line with the same principles. This project is one of the first such programs in the country where multiple drones would fly BVLOS to establish their value proposition for the healthcare supply chain.  The vision is to ensure healthcare equity for rural areas,” said Jayesh Ranjan, IAS, Principal Secretary, ITE&C Department, Government of Telangana.

Dunzo CEO Kabeer Biswas said that with technology it can now be ensured that no matter where people live, life-saving essentials can and should reach them.” We appreciate the Government of Telangana’s recognition of the role technology can play in today’s world to build safer cities. We believe our participation in the ‘Medicine from the Sky’ project will facilitate a more connected state and country, allowing people almost instantaneous access to vaccines and medicines from the most populous to most remote areas in India in the near future,” he said.

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