The Civil Aviation Ministry has allowed NTPC to use drones to carry out research and inspection activities at its three power plants in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, an official statement said on Friday.
Granting the public sector unit (PSU) a “conditional exemption” from some of the drone rules, the ministry said NTPC can use drones at Vindhyachal super thermal power station and Gadarwara super thermal power plant, both in Madhya Pradesh, and Sipat super thermal power project in Chhattisgarh.
The ministry said the conditional exemption is till December 31 or till the full operatalisation of Digital Sky Platform, whichever is earlier.
While conditional exemption has been given to NTPC, it will still need to obtain necessary clearances from the local administration, the Defence Ministry, the Home Ministry, the Indian Air Force (IAF) and Airports Authority of India (AAI), the release said.
Amber Dubey, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation, said, “NTPC will use the drones to carry out terrain mapping, stockpile volumetric analysis, aerial inspections and other applications at the three NTPC sites.”
“This will provide NTPC excellent data with high accuracy at a fraction of the cost. This is in line with Government of India’s attempts to promote use of industrial drones in infrastructure, mining, agriculture and disaster relief etc,” he added.