The Srinagar administration on Sunday prohibited the sale, possession, and use of unmanned aerial vehicles in the city, a week after a drone attack on an Air Force base in Jammu. Keeping in view the security situation, apart from concerns of breach of privacy, nuisance and trespass, it is extremely dangerous to let unmanned aerial vehicles wander around in the skies within the territorial jurisdiction of district Srinagar, the order said.
The district magistrate imposed “restrictions/ban on the storage, sale/ possession, use and transport of drones/similar kinds of unmanned aerial vehicles in the city”. Persons already having the drone cameras/ similar kind of unmanned aerial vehicles in their possession shall ground the same in the local police stations under proper receipt, the order said.
In the aftermath of the terror incident last Sunday, officials in the Jammu region’s border districts of Rajouri and Kathua imposed restrictions on the use of drones and other unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).
Two explosives-laden drones had crashed into the Indian Air Force station at Jammu airport and there were other suspicious sightings of UAVs, triggering a security alert. In the order, deputy commissioner of Srinagar Mohammad Aijaz directed those having drone cameras or other similar kinds of unmanned aerial vehicles to deposit them in local police stations.
The order, however, exempted government departments using drones for mapping, surveys and surveillance in agricultural, environmental conservation and disaster mitigation sectors but directed them to inform the local police station before using them. The administration cautioned that any violation of the guidelines will attract punitive action, and directed police to implement the restrictions in letter and spirit.
The order to ban the use of drones came after the recommendations of the city’s police chief. The decentralised airspace access has to be regulated in view of recent episodes of misuse of drones posing threat to security infrastructure as reported by media/other reliable sources, the order said.
To secure the aerial space near the vital installations and highly populated areas, it is imperative to discontinue the use of drones in all social and cultural gatherings to eliminate any risk of injury to the life and damage of property, the order said.
(With PTI inputs)