On 4th July 2021, the J&K administration banned drones in Srinagar. The District Magistrate (DM) of Srinagar Mohammad Aijaz ordered the ban on the sale and possession of drones/unmanned aerial vehicles. This development comes a week after two Indian Air Force personnel were injured in a drone attack on the Air Force Station in Jammu. Srinagar is the second district in J&K to ban the use and possession of drones.
Earlier, authorities in border districts of Rajouri and Kathua in the Jammu region had put curbs on the use of drones and other UAVs. The DM in the order said:
To secure the aerial space near vital installations and highly populated areas, it is imperative to discontinue the use of drones in all social and cultural gatherings to eliminate any risk of injury to life and damage to property.”
The order has been passed under Section 144 of the Cr.P.C. The order says, “the decentralized airspace access has to be regulated given the recent episodes of misuse of drones posing a threat to security infrastructure as reported by media/other reliable sources.”
Keeping in view the security situation, apart from concerns of breach of privacy, nuisance, and trespass, it is extremely dangerous to let unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) wander around the skies.
Punitive Action against violators
The DM in his order-imposed restrictions on the storage, sale/possession, use, and transport of drones/similar kinds of UAV in the city. In addition to this, for those who are already in possession of drones and other kinds of UAVs, the order directed them to deposit those at the local police station.
The administration has warned that any violation of the guidelines would attract punitive action and directed the Police to implement the restrictions.
The order exempts government departments from using drones for mapping, surveys, and surveillance in the agricultural, environment conservation, and disaster mitigation sectors. Even these departments/sectors need to inform the local police station before undertaking any such activity.
Copy of the order: