New Delhi, Nov 27 (IANS): While launching a pilot project on the use of indigenously manufactured drones for delivering medicines in Jammu and its surrounding areas, Union Minister of State for Science and Technology, Jitendra Singh, said on Saturday that while Pakistani drones carry explosives to spread terror and threaten human lives, Indian drones have assumed the role of Covud warriors by carrying life-saving vaccine doses and medicines for the safety and well-being of the mankind.
This indeed is the fundamental difference between the two countries, said the minister.
Referring to the first consignment of 50 vials of Covid vaccine, which was dropped by a drone near the International Border (IB) in Marh area, Singh said the 'Octacopter' drone developed indigenously at Bengaluru is truly a massenger of peace, while Pakistan is using drones to disrupt peace.
The Indian drone has carried to the International Border the message of protecting lives from Covid, he said.
On the occasion, Singh, in the presence of Rajeev Bhatnagar, Advisor (Health) to the Lieutenant Governor of Jammu & Kashmir, formally handed over the first consignment of Covid vaccine doses to the drone operators, who then mounted the same on the drone which took off for its air journey.
Singh said the successful aerial delivery of vaccine doses from the CSIR-Indian Institute of Integrative Medicine (IIIM), Jammu, to the Government Sub-District Hospital, Marh, shows the commitment of the Modi government towards healthcare needs of the masses in remote areas.
The road distance from Jammu to Marh is about 15 km and it takes about 50 to 60 minutes to cover the distance, but the Octacopter delivered the vaccine doses within 20 minutes.
The CSIR-National Aerospace Laboratories (CSIR-NAL) and CSIR-IIIM have teamed up with the Department of Health and Family Welfare, Government of Jammu, for aerial delivery of Covid-19 vaccine doses in the remote areas.
Singh said that delivery of vials of Covid vaccine through Octacopter will go a long way in fulfilling Prime Minister's Narendra Modi's 'Har Ghar Dastak' campaign for special house-to-house Covid-19 vaccination drive.
The minister informed that the Octacopter can carry a payload of 10 kg in a range of 20 km, and it can fly at an operational altitude of 500 meters AGL and at a maximum flying speed of 36 kmph.