Centre mulls vaccine delivery through drones; bids invited: Report

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File photo: KM/Umar Ganie

The Centre is mulling to deliver Coronavirus vaccines by Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) to areas in the country with difficult terrains. The country is expected to soon see drones delivering vaccines to remote areas as the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur has already approved the plan, calling it “feasible”.

According to a report by CNN-News18, the HLL Infra Tech Services Limited, which is procuring all vaccines in the country for the government, has on the behalf of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) invited an Expression of Interest (EOI) on June 11 for delivery of vaccines and drugs by UAVs to select locations in India which have difficult terrains.

UAVs that can travel upto 35 kms, fly at an altitude of 100 meters and deliver supplies at the same time have already been sought by ICMR. “To strengthen the delivery of vaccines, ICMR has successfully conducted a feasibility study to deliver vaccines by UAVs in collaboration with IIT, Kanpur,” News18 quoted from a copy of a document that invites bids by June 22.

Prior to this, only Telangana was considering the idea of UAV vaccine delivery. However, it seems remotest corners across the entire country may soon see vaccine delivery through drones.

Flipkart had earlier announced its partnership with the Telangana government to lead a consortium tasked with the development and execution of the drone deliveries of medical supplies to remote areas under the ‘Medicines from the Sky’ project.

As part of the consortium, Flipkart will utilise learnings from its tech-enabled supply chain to deploy drones and enable deliveries of medical supplies. These efforts will be complemented with technologies such as geo-mapping, routing of shipments and track and trace of location etc., developed by Flipkart over the years in serving millions of customers across the country, the Indian e-commerce giant had said.

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