Hyderabad-based Marut Drones to check mosquito-borne diseases

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Hyderabad: Hyderabad-based and T-Hub registered startup Marut Drones is working with GHMC to eradicate mosquitoes and water hyacinth on lakes.

In a pilot test conducted on March 28 using drones spraying herbicide at Miyapur lake (16 acre), about 60 per cent reduction in the mosquito population in the area has been achieved. Similar findings were also seen in the tests conducted at Raidurg (40 acre)on April 3 and Musi on April 15. Going by these results, Telangana which has 45,612 lakes could benefit from customised drone application.

Marut Drones founder and CEO Prem Kumar Vislawath told Telangana Today, “Hyderabad’s lakes are witnessing mosquito infestations and the surroundings have become high risk areas for dengue, malaria and chicken gunya. To address this problem scientifically and with latest technology, GHMC has partnered with Marut Drones to find an efficient solution.”

Prem informs, “Our custom-built drones can spray 5-6 acres per hour at an effective work rate of about 25 acres per day. We are also thinking to come up with a platform that will enable artificial intelligence based prediction of mosquito density, larvae count, prepare real-time reports and identify high and low risk areas using predictive analytics. Technology will also allow viewing mosquito maps by location, gender, species and sub-species. Also receive critical alerts on emergency situations and disease outbreaks could be possible.”

D Hari Chandana, Zonal Commissioner (West Zone), Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC), says, “Through our pilot studies, we have tested how drones can distribute the spray to eradicate mosquitoes but we want to address the water hyacinth issue using a different chemical. Typically it costs Rs 15-20 lakh per month to do the work manually on these lakes, drones could bring down the cost significantly. We will explore different use cases for drone in future.”

GHMC is also in talks with the company for other applications such as monitoring building violations and encroachments. Police Department is also exploring for crowd management and other surveillance purposes. The State agriculture and horticulture departments are also keen to use the technology for crop insurance and other data capture and analysis. Revenue department is looking into the areas of land surveys while energy department is exploring it for studying topography for implementation of solar projects in the State, Prem informed.

Marut has custom-made drones for agriculture, surveillance, defence, payload drop, logistics and surveying purposes. The company has been exploring various use cases in the last 18 months.


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