Home South Asia Pakistan Punjab government bans drones, flying cameras for two months

Punjab government bans drones, flying cameras for two months

Section 144 empowers the district administration to issue orders in public interest that may place a ban on an activity for a specific period of time. The police can register cases under Section 188 of PPC against the violators, which carries a maximum penalty of six months in prison or fine or both.

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News Desk |

Punjab government has imposed a ban upon the use of drone, remote control aircraft, flying camera and all types of big balloons for two months.

The home department has imposed a ban upon all aerial media coverage including drone, remote control model aircraft, aircraft system without a pilot, flying camera, helicam quadcopter and big balloons under sub-section 6 of section 144 (Power to issue order absolute at once in urgent cases of nuisance or apprehended danger) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898.

All the divisional commissioners, divisional and district police chiefs, information department and director public relations have been intimated by the home department about the ban.

Section 144 empowers the district administration to issue orders in public interest that may place a ban on an activity for a specific period of time. The police can register cases under Section 188 of Pakistan Penal Code against the violators. Section 188 carries a maximum penalty of six months in prison or fine or both.

For two months, the media reported, anyone failing to abide by the law or found violating the ban on flying drones, especially near aviation or defence-related activities or establishments, could face a police case.

Read more: Pakistan’s security issues

All the divisional commissioners, divisional and district police chiefs, information department and director public relations have been intimated by the home department about the ban.

It has earlier been reported that the security experts say that drones and other such things can be used by miscreants to conduct terrorist acts in areas that have been secured and safeguarded against the ground attacks.

Drones’ use in other countries

This is not the first time the government has imposed a ban on drone, remote control aircraft, flying camera and all types of big balloons. And, certainly, Pakistan is not the only country where authorities bar people from using such devices.

Punjab government has imposed a ban upon the use of drone, remote control aircraft, flying camera and all types of big balloons for two months.

In September 2018, The Times of India (ToI) reported that the Civil Aviation Ministry gave the nod to the commercial use of drones and released a set of guidelines. The guidelines were made to ensure that more people would be able to use drones, provided they adhere to the conditions such as registering the devices, getting an operator’s license and ensuring that the drones are not flown over certain zones.

Nevertheless, a drone or a UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle), is used all over the world for different reasons, including defence, emergency response, humanitarian aid & disaster relief, healthcare, live entertainment etc.

Read more: Internal and external security challenges to Pakistan

Through a combination of technologies, including computer vision, artificial intelligence, object avoidance tech, and others, drones can also be ground or sea vehicles that operate autonomously.

Wedding videographers in a fix in India, Pakistan

Use of drones for event photography, especially weddings, is common in Pakistan and India. However, following the ban, the videographers find it hard to complete customers’ demands.

In September 2018, The Times of India (ToI) reported that the Civil Aviation Ministry gave the nod to the commercial use of drones and released a set of guidelines.

In Kerala in India, the ToI reported, drones were extensively used for wedding photography and videography and the new policy put the users in a predicament. “The existing law states that helicams used in India should be manufactured in the country. But a lot of people smuggle these devices because of the better image quality as well as battery life,” a videographer Ranjith Raghu told the paper.

Read more: Imran Khan govt’s deep ignorance of Pakistan’s national security concerns

“When the new law comes into place and if strictly enforced, we will have to buy new devices as we won’t be able to fly the ones we already have,” another videographer told the paper.

Though, the authorities in Pakistan have not yet issued any such directions but people affiliated with movie making business said that they face difficulties because people demand coverage through drones/helicams to make their events’ coverage more unique and memorable.

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