Drones are being deployed in Lucknow to monitor large-scale electricity thefts
Drones are being deployed in Lucknow to monitor large-scale electricity thefts.

Today, June 12th, the Lucknow Electricity Supply Administration (LESA) began using drones for aerial surveillance in an effort to reduce power theft.

Drones are being used for the first time ever to detect unauthorised electrical connections.


More than 200 power thieves have been captured thanks to the deployment of drones in the previous month, says Sanjay Jain, head engineer of LESA Cis-Gomti.

An further quote from the official: “In certain regions of the city where our team experienced some opposition owing to limited alleys, we decided to utilise drones to apprehend power thieves. We have arrested over 200 persons at six different locations during the last month. A ‘katia’ was a device attached to a power line at night and removed by the occupants before 4 a.m. We were able to get video of morning katia connection repairs and removal thanks to the use of drones. When we conducted these raids to disconnect their services, we had concrete proof.

Additionally, he said, “At the moment, we have hired a few drones to capture power thieves; but, if this project is successful, then, we will acquire a few more drones, not only for capturing thieves but also for patrolling. It may also be used to pinpoint specific problems. LESA’s effectiveness can only rise as a result of the incorporation of technological aids.

Constant monitoring in the sub-station control rooms revealed that the power demand often peaked around 11 p.m. The state capital has 150 different substations. Over two thousand electricity lines are fed by these substations. Chief engineer Sanjay Jain claimed that out of these, 200 feeders had higher power theft incidents.

People began utilising the katia at night, especially from 11 p.m. to 4 a.m., since daytime checking drives were too intrusive. This used to cause a dramatic rise in the demand placed on electrical sub-stations.

For instance, during the day the load on the New Campus on Sitapur road sub-station averaged 107 amperes, but at night it spiked to 140 amperes.

The load at the Azad Nagar substation serving the Amberganj neighbourhood, for example, was consistently 90 amperes during the day but increased to 140 amperes at night.

The load at the Gaughat substation typically hovered around 52 amperes during the day, but would spike to 100 amperes at night, a clear sign of power theft.

When the LESA team visited Muftiganj’s Jehra Colony in May, they discovered widespread power theft across the whole neighbourhood.

Masalchi Tola was very much like this. The Daliganj section’s Kadam Rasool feeder at the Ahibaranpur sub-station serves around 1,800 customers. About 63% of the money made from selling power does not go to LESA.

Theft of the electrical supply is widespread in this area. However, there are a large number of individuals who are unable to cover their monthly expenses. There have been 250 reported occurrences of electricity theft in this region in the last three months.



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