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BMC to use drones for surveillance of slums in Kandivli

The BMC takes the techie path with the help of drones as it tries to keep the deadly coronavirus at bay at a slum in suburban Mumbai's Kandivli.

BMC to use drones for surveillance of slums in Kandivli
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The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has gone tech whizz with the help of drones as it tries to keep the deadly coronavirus at bay in the slums of suburban Mumbai's Kandivli.

As per reports until the first week of May, the Laljipada slum area at Kandivli (West) Link road had recorded close to 50 COVID-19 positive cases. The densely populated slums, spread over an area of six kilometres houses nearly 65,000 people who are mostly daily wage workers and labourers. Most of these residents used to stay all across Mumbai, throughout the week where their project would be going on and would only return home during the weekends.

As a consequence, when the extended lockdown was imposed labourers who were stuck in different parts of the city took time to reach home. As the number of days progressed, the total number of COVID-19 cases also increased. By the end of April, the local ward office recorded 50 cases. The areas were then sealed and those living in the slums were told not to come out of the areas.

However, as a result of slums being cramped up spaces, people would come out of their houses regularly and social distancing was not followed, it was then the R-south ward officials decided to deploy drone surveillance to ensure social distancing. Partnered along with the local police station, the ward officials flew in drones inside the slums. The drones were fitted with high definition cameras used to manoeuvre between the lanes easily providing clear visuals.

The BMC could clearly identify the ones those who were violating the norms and action was taken against them. Also, speakers were connected with the drones through which the ward officers used to pass messages as well. Even though people were confused in the beginning, this scared the individuals as the residents became vary of coming out of their houses.

It was only after this incident that the residents stopped coming out of their houses unnecessarily and started following social distancing norms. It has been more than fifteen days since the last COVID-19 case was reported from the slum and the most believe it is the result of the effective usage of drones because of which the civic officials were able to control the spread.

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