Police will use drones to monitor crowd movement during the celebration of Dev Diwali in Varanasi next week.
As a part of the rituals, millions of earthen lamps are lit on river banks as it is believed that the gods descend on earth to bathe in the holy Ganges river.
The riverbank, which hosts the festival on November 25, is expected to be thronged by thousands to witness the grand ceremony. The city administration, for the first time, is making use of drones to monitor situation on the riverbanks.
Senior police officials consulted various drone companies on Friday and tested their products.
“We had been allocated a budget to acquire drones for security purposes. Various drone companies have approached us and we were testing out the drones. Most of the companies have passed the test. We have flown the drones over the river bank area which is the main concern. We are seeing what more could be done to strengthen security over the river banks. Now we will hold a financial bid for the drone companies and whoever wins it, will supply us the drones. We should have drones operational here in one or two weeks,” said senior superintendent of police, Varanasi, Akash Kulhari.
Several other security measures are being observed in the holy town in view of the grand festival. More CCTV cameras are being installed in various points of the city. Hotel and guest house officials have also been asked to keep a close eye on the guests.