Science & Technology

Bihar to use drones to watch over embankments

At least 12 drones will be deployed in the first phase, according to state’s water resources department 

By Mohd Imran Khan
Published: Wednesday 18 March 2020

Bihar’s water resources department will use drones to monitor embankments along rivers during the monsoon.

According to Bihar water resources minister Sanjay Kr Jha, the move would help the department act in time during floods and ensure proper management.

At a review meeting with Flood Management Improvement Support Centre (FMISC) officials in Patna on March 16, 2020, Jha asked officials to prepare a detailed proposal so that the process could be kicked off this year itself.

He added that the department will use drones to keep a close watch on the sensitive and vulnerable points.

“Use of drones will give us information about health of the embankments, possibility of erosion, danger of breaching and water flow,” he added.

According to Anil Kumar, joint director, FMISC, the minister is fully invested in the initiative.

FMISC is looking to select staff and calculate project cost, he added.

According to the plan, 12 drones will be deployed in the first phase. Two drones each in six chief engineer divisions will be used to monitor the embankments. “The first batch of drones will be used on a trial basis. Later, we may increase the number to 24,” said Jha.

According to him, the drones will be connected with control rooms. Fast internet connections will be used to send pictures and other information.

Kumar added a workshop would be held in Darbhanga and Katihar districts to train engineers in capacity building.

Indu Bhusan Kumar, technical advisor, water resources department, said minister Jha has assured them that only modern technology will be used for the purpose.

Bihar’s embankments run for about 35,199.86 km along different rivers.

Their breaching has led to floods in the state.

It experienced one of the worst floods in five decades when the Kosi river breached its embankment at Kusaha in Nepal’s Sunsari district in August, 2008. The subsequent floods killed more than 250 people and displaced nearly three million people in five districts.

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