Impressed by the efficiency of the drone technology in combating the problems of mosquitoes, the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) is considering deploying drones to clean all 195 lakes in Hyderabad.
The GHMC witnessed success during its trial which was conducted on Friday at the Gurunatham lake in Miyapur; a drone carrying 20 litres of spray completed cleaning the lake spread across 16 acres in just four hours. The drone technology has been used to spray chemicals and bio enzymes to eradicate mosquitoes as well as contain the growth of hyacinth which chokes the water bodies.
Speaking to TNM, Hari Chandana, GHMC Additional Commissioner (Lakes) and Serilingampally Zonal Commissioner said, â€śThe results have been outstanding. We completed cleaning the Gurunatham lake in less than a day, which was impossible earlier.â€ť
The GHMC has cleaned six lakes in just three days. Earlier, workers had to clean the lake and spray the chemicals manually, sometimes they had to get down knee-deep into the water, which is too risky, said the Zonal Commissioner. â€śBesides fear of drowning, they are also susceptible to diseases and skin infection, due to water pollution,â€ť Hari Chandana said.
She added that by deploying drones they are able to save a lot of time and money. â€śEarlier we used to hire JCBs for the cleaning which would cost us Rs 2 lakh a day, and its cleaning would take up at least 10 days, but now we are able to clean at least 3-4 lakes in just one day. The cost of hiring the drone is Rs 20,000 per day.â€ť
â€śWe are stopping the human intervention as well as saving money and time,â€ť she added.
According to the Zonal commissioner, the mosquito larval density which was 121 per ladle (approximately 40 ml) of water has been reduced to just 19 in just 24 hours.
Presently, the drone has been used to clean the lakes adjoining Hitec city. The drone technology is developed by Marut Drones â€“ a start-up which is an initiative of of T-Hub.
The GHMC has presently commissioned Marut Drones to clean 50 lakes but following the success they are planning to extend the contract.
Besides cleaning the lakes, the GHMC has plans to extend the drone technology for thermal fogging in open spaces and to clean sewers. â€śPresently, we have restricted them to lakes, but they will aid our workers in cleaning the nalas as well. Our workers can now concentrate on cleaning the colonies, and eradicate the problem of malaria and other water-borne diseases,â€ť Hari Chandana said.
Prem Kumar Vislawath, founder of Marut Drones said, â€śWe have two drones â€“ one with a capacity of 10 litres pesticide tank and another with a 20 litre tank. These drones can cover 5-6 acres in an hour.â€ť Marut Drones have received offers for carrying out their work from Kochi and Bhopal as well, he said.
â€śWe are also collecting data by mapping the area â€“ identifying the mosquitoes by gender and subspecies; mosquito density and larvae count.â€ť