Drones to ensure adherence to COVID-19 protocol on Chennai beaches

Police in Mylapore, Triplicane and Adyar are using drones for monitoring the crowd for COVID-19-appropriate behavious on the beach.

In a move to enforce physical distancing and wearing of masks on Chennai beaches, the city police is using drones to monitor the crowd and public address systems to warn them.

Recently, Chief Minister M.K. Stalin announced relaxations to COVID-19 lockdown norms and reopened beaches between 5 a.m. and 9 a.m. for walkers.

To ensure walkers followed COVID-19-appropriate behaviour, city police commissioner Shankar Jiwal asked his force to strengthen monitoring on all the beaches.

The police teams in Mylapore, Triplicane and Adyar are using drones for monitoring the crowd on the beaches in their jurisdictions. “In Marina, we are using one drone, one in the beach falling under Triplicane police jurisdiction and another in Besant Nagar,” said N. Kannan, Additional Commissioner of Police, South.

When the drone shows someone without a mask or in a group without maintaining physical distancing, the police warns them using a public address system.

“The walkers are supposed to use the service road only and should not venture onto the sand. The beaches are closed to the public during other hours,” said P. Pakalavan, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Triplicane.

The police are providing masks to those seen without. “We can only warn them. Since the lockdown is being relaxed, it is up to the people to be disciplined and follow all safety norms,” added a senior police officer.

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