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ISRO trials Garuda drones for veggies & med delivery in Sriharikota

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By Venkatachari Jagannathan

Chennai, May 5 (IANS) India’s space agency Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) trialed drone-based delivery of medicines, vegetables and spraying of disinfectants at its staff quarters located in rocket launch town Sriharikota on Wednesday.

“In a pilot project, based drones of Garuda Aerospace delivered vegetables and medicines at the ISRO staff quarters and also sanitised the buildings in Sriharikota. We also sanitised the buildings using unmanned vehicles,” Agnishwar Jayaprakash, Managing Director of city-based Garuda Aerospace, told IANS.

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The city based Garuda Aerospace is a drone-as-a-service company.

Confirming that a senior ISRO official told IANS that the trial delivery of vegetables, medicines and spraying of anti-coronavirus disinfectants were good and satisfactory.

Jayaprakash said ISRO may give the order following their internal procedures and many of the staff are working from their homes.

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About 200-300 people in the ISRO staff quarters – employees and their family members-were affected by Covid-19.

An official in Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) in Sriharikota on the condition of anonymity had told IANS that there are about 3,000 employees with their family members and daily about 30 people are tested positive for coronavirus.

“ISRO wants to minimise the physical interaction of the staff with the outside world as a safety measure and looking at automation as a solution,” Jayaprakash said.

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The second wave of Covid-19 sweeping across the country has also affected the various space centres and not just the rocket launch centre in Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh, K.Sivan, Secretary, Department of Space had told IANS recently.

Sivan who is also the Chairman, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) told IANS: “Several employees in our various centres have been affected because of the coronavirus and not only the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota.”

He said the centres have been asked to work with 50 per cent staff capacity and the remaining people to work from home.

“Only employees manning critical functional areas have been asked to attend office. The ISRO centres have been asked to follow the local government’s norms,” Sivan said.

(Venkatachari Jagannathan can be contacted at v.jagannathan@ians.in)

–IANS

vj/in

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