Drones replace bulky choppers making India's elections fuel efficient

Drone being used in Greater Noida's Gautam Buddh Nagar constituencyTwitter/Noida Police

  • Drones are being used to keep a watch over the poll booths during the Indian general election.
  • The Election Commission of India is deploying drone technology in areas it considers to be ‘critical’ or ‘sensitive’.
  • So far there are reports of the drones being used in Gautam Buddh Nagar in Greater Noida and the Bastar constituency in Chhattisgarh.
The Election Commission of India (ECI) has pulled out the big guns for what could be the biggest democratic contest that India has ever witnessed.

There a million polling booths managed by 11 million officers, where as many as 900 million citizens could come to vote.

Considering the vast disparity becomes the number of people who will be voting and the number of officials to keep tabs on them, the ECI is using drones and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) — especially in areas it deemed ‘critical’.

So, in areas where there’s normally poor turnout, vulnerability or presence of anti-social elements, the ECI is using drones to make the areas safe.


In Gautam Buddh Nagar constituency in Greater Noida, 13 drones have reportedly been deployed.

We are taking all preventive measures to neutralise threats and encourage people to vote in large numbers. Additional troops and CRPF personnel will be deployed at these locations.

Gautam Budh Nagar SSP, Vaibhav Krishna

Even in Bastar constituency of Chhattisgarh, which has witnessed incidents of left wing extremism, 75,0000 drones will be deployed along with 80,000 personnel.

The drones will be a key asset to help escort polling parties to-and-from the polling stations where 741 polling booths have been marked ‘hyper sensitive’. In the past, the routes were monitored using helicopters.

Compared to manned-vehicles like helicopters, the use of UAVS and drones is not only cheaper, but faster and safer than traditional methods as well.

In cases where drones or the amount of personnel was not enough, the polling stations were moved to new locations altogether in view of how vulnerable they may be to a Maoist threat.

See also:
India's Supreme Court orders five-fold increase in vote audits putting Election Commission under pressure to prepare

Here's how voters can verify their ballots during the world's largest democratic exercise

142 million voters go to polls today in 20 states— here’s a look at the key issues in every state
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