Technology is transforming the world at a rapid pace and it has never been more relevant before than today. The hi-tech advancement in the sector is an answer to most of the pressing problems of the world.
Of late, drone technology has become increasingly popular in various important sectors including agriculture, infrastructure, surveillance, mining, geo-spatial mapping, emergency response, transportation, defense and law enforcement etc. Drones are creators of employment and economic growth due to their wide reach, versatility, and ease of use, especially in remote and inaccessible areas.
The Himachal Pradesh Government has decided to make optimum use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) mainly in the agriculture and horticulture sectors keeping in view the topography of the State. The scientists and researchers of the CSK Agriculture University, Palampur have been asked to take the much-needed steps to make use of the technology and take their research from the ‘labs to the fields’ so that the farmers can be benefited the most.
The use of drones in the farming sector will prove to be a boon for the farmers with its distinct advantages such as high field capacity and efficiency, other field operational delays, wastage reduction of pesticide and fertilizers due to high degree of atomization, water saving due to ultra-low volume spraying technology in comparison to traditional spraying methods, reduction in the cost of spraying and fertilizer application in comparison to conventional methods, etc. It will also reduce human exposure to hazardous chemicals.
In order to give a boost to Drone technology, the State Government has decided to start drone courses in various ITIs soon to coach the youth willing to take up the career of Drone pilot. The technology offers vast scope in the field of health, entertainment, surveillance etc. The drone technology can enable in-time healthcare services in remote areas, provide quick response during emergencies, ensure the easy transportation of time-sensitive goods and materials, serve as efficient carriers for logistics in hilly areas, and contribute to environmental sustainability.
Chief Minister, Thakur Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu always emphasized the promotion of IT-driven governance in Himachal Pradesh. Potential benefits of the drone technology could play a vital role to benefit farmers, horticulturists, monitoring law and order besides other sectors, said he.
Drones could be used for aerial photography, gathering information or supplying essentials for disaster management, geographic mapping of inaccessible terrain and locations, law enforcement, assistance in rescue operations, wildlife and historical conservation, knowing land use patterns, service delivery besides agriculture and horticulture in Himachal Pradesh. The initiative of using drones to transport horticulture produce from remote and inaccessible areas has also been successfully done in the state.
Due to the tough geographical terrain of the state, drones can be used in various sectors. Many villages were cut off from the roads due to heavy rains recently and drones played a pivotal role to supply medicines in these areas. It was also witnessed during the COVID era that the drone technology matured and there were new findings to deal with urgency and explored new ways of accessing goods and services during the hour of natural disasters.
Drones can be used as seed broadcasters in tough and far-flung areas to increase the green cover in the state. Mapping of traditional Himachali crops and food grains grown in remote areas of the state can also be done through drone technology.
Lately, a National level Himachal Drone Conclave was organized at Palampur in district Kangra on 4th and 5th July 2023. The two-day event featured a drone exhibition and interactive sessions for various stakeholders and students, besides MoUs worth Rs. 200 crores were also signed.
Himachal is striving to move towards drone driven technology and this technology of the future will definitely contribute to paving the way for progress in the state.