By Ankur Sharma
New Delhi (India), Sept 23 (ANI): Now all the drones seized from across the country by government authorities will be handed over to Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and Defence Ministry.
The drones have been seized from the common people who tried to bring them in the country through airports and other locations.
"The ministries will get all the drones as per their requirements free of cost. The Government of India has cleared its way to handing over all drones to these two ministries who deal with national security," top government sources told ANI.
Handing over of drones will be done after due process and will be distributed equally between the MoD and the MHA (and their constituent organisations/agencies) after a joint inspection that will be conducted by the nodal officers of the MoD and the MHA.
The step has been taken after the drone attack on the world's biggest oil company -- Aramco -- in Saudi Arabia this month. The distribution of drones will be done twice every year.
The Ministry of Home Affairs has raised the issue of disposal of drones considering auction or dismantling of drones as a threat to the nation.
"The MHA has categorically directed that the drones should not be auctioned/sold as such or even in dismantled condition in the open market; and that due to security reasons, these should be handed over to the defence or security forces only," a circular issued by the Ministry of Finance after consultation with the MHA said.
In India, it is illegal for the public to operate drones without getting written clearance from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). The government is in the process of formulating the usage of drones in India.
All drones weighing more than 250 grams and up to 150 kilograms will be handed over to the two ministries.
"All the drones of all the categories shall be transferred to the warehouses of the following Customs formations, namely, Chennai (Airport), Delhi (IGIA), Kolkata (Airport) and Mumbai (Airport), which shall be the focal Commissionerates for stocking, segregation, joint inspection by all agencies and distribution," the circular said.
"As regards the future stock of the drones that are received by the focal Customs Commissionerates from time to time, the requirements of DRI and Customs field formations shall be met first. Thereafter, the MoD and the MHA (and their constituent organization, agencies) shall be invited for a joint inspection to be conducted by the nodal officers of the MoD and the MHA (or their representatives) bi-annually in the second/ third week of January and July. In case either Ministry does not turn up for such joint inspection or forgoes its quota, the same would be made available to the other."
The government has also clarified that the drones shall be supplied on a gratis basis (free-of-cost) on 'as-is-where-is' condition and it will be the responsibility of the recipient to comply with all the regulatory requirements. "No drone would be resold after the end of their life or when they become obsolete or irreparable. Such drones shall be destroyed by all the recipient," says the circular. (ANI)
Defence, Home ministries to get all seized drones
Ankur Sharma | Updated: Sep 23, 2019 18:36 IST
By Ankur Sharma