PANCHKULA: Incorporating technology with the concept of afforestation, the Haryana Forest Department is planning to conduct aerial seeding between September 13 to 18, via drones at the Shiwalik area of Panchkula district. The airborne dispersal of seeds of neem, jamun, amla and ficus species of bargad, pipal, pilkhan, khair, etc, would be done to enhance the vegetation of the once extensively vegetated area. The pilot project would be executed via the use of an IIT- Kanpur start-up developed seeding drone which is capable of dispatching a total payload of 2 kg and is equipped with precise delivery mechanism for seeds of different sizes to drop them at predetermined intervals from a low height of 10-15 meters.
Speaking on the occasion of pilot run of air seeding operation on September 13 at Mandhna, Anil Hooda, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, said, “Drone based seeding will boost vegetation enrichment in denuded and in low density areas. It will also help plantation in inaccessible and tough terrains which are otherwise difficult for manual plantations.
He further said, “Drone based tree planting technology is very promising and holds immense potential for the future. However, this technology requires proven artificial intelligence based system to assess the area for plantation sites and selection of site specific local species. Soil moisture, choice of species, seed palleting and mechanism of drone seed planting are main deciding factors for a successful aerial tree planting.”
Vinod Kumar, Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, said, “We are constantly using geospatial technology to precisely map forest boundaries, evaluating forest cover and monitoring forestry resources and assets. Geolocation of blank patches and low density areas can be mapped using latest satellite imageries and data so generated can be directly fed into drone software for auto plantation.