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Drone camera helps restore power in rain-battered villages of Andhra

PTI | VADREVU SRINIVAS
Published Oct 19, 2020, 4:49 pm IST
Updated Oct 19, 2020, 6:11 pm IST
Drone cameras are being used for multiple purposes, including surveillance, mapping, etc while the government uses of them during floods
Drones are being used by government to manage flood situation.
 Drones are being used by government to manage flood situation.

Drone cameras are being used for multiple purposes, including surveillance, mapping and weddings while the government makes optimal use of them during floods and other natural disasters.

For the first time, officials of the AP Eastern Power Distribution Company Limited (EPDCL) used drone cameras for restoration of power in six villages — Kolimeru, Subbayamma Pet, Gandhinagar, NSV Nagar, N.Suraram and Kotaiah Palem village in Tuni Rural mandal. Thanks to the usage, they were able to restore within 24 hours to nearly 4,500 services, including agriculture connections.

 

According to sources, due to heavy rains, the Tandava River gates were lifted and the overflowing flood waters caused erosion of bund sides of the river and many trees and electric poles fell into the river. This resulted in a complete night blackout on October 14. Spotting and connecting electrical poles, which fell on either side of the river, was a Herculean task.

Even swimmers did not dare to dive and fix wires to the conductors while revenue officials did not agree to operate boats for the purpose.

Meanwhile, officials proposed to supply power to the village with an alternative line from Kotananduru mandal. Deputy executive engineer of APEPDCL of Tuni mandal, Ch. Meena Kethana Rao, stated that power could be restored by connecting conductors by making use of drone cameras. In Kolimeru village, B.V. Ramana, who uses drone cameras to cover marriages, came forward to help the officials.

 

“Initially, we made an experiment that linked wires making use of the thread of fishing net and later a rope, both of which were successful. Then two electrical conductors were connected with wires to two poles of both sides of the river with the help of drone cameras. This helped restore power supply to the villages within hours,’’ said Meena Kethana Rao.

He said that the experiment proved that electrical conductors and wires can be connected with the help of drone cameras during catastrophes.

The locals recalled that they faced severe hardships when cyclone Neelam wreaked havoc in the district. There was no power in the villages for almost six days.

 

Divisional engineer of Jaggampeta division Y. David said that was for the first time in electricity department’s history that drone technology was used to restore power. Superintendent engineer Surya Prakasa Rao has given green signal to make use of the technology during future exigencies.

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