Lok Sabha polls: For new EVMs,  ₹10,000 crore needed every 15 years, say EC

Lok Sabha polls: For new EVMs, ₹10,000 crore needed every 15 years, say EC

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  • January 20, 2024
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Amid the debate over simultaneous polls taking place in the country, the Election Commission said that they would require an estimated 10,000 crore every 15 years to procure new Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) if simultaneous polls are held for Lok Sabha and assemblies.

The Commission, in a communication sent to the government, noted that the shelf life of EVMs was 15 years and one set of machines could be used to conduct three cycles of elections in their life span if simultaneous polls were held.

According to estimates, a total of 11.80 lakh polling stations would be required to be set up across India for Lok Sabha polls this year.

During simultaneous polls, two sets of EVMs would be needed per polling station — one for the Lok Sabha seat and another for assembly constituency.

the EC said in the communication sent to the government, certain percentage of Control Units (CUs), Ballot Units (BUs) and Voter-Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) machines are required as reserves to replace defective units at different stages, including on election day.

At least one BU, one CU and one VVPAT machine make up for one EVM.

Keeping in mind various aspects, the minimum EVMs and VVPATs required for simultaneous polls would be: 46,75,100 BUs, 33,63,300 CUs and 36,62,600 VVPATs, the Commission said in its letter to the Law Ministry in February last year.

In early 2023, the tentative cost of EVM stood at 7,900 per BU, 9,800 per CU and 16,000 per unit of VVPAT.

The EC was responding to a questionnaire on simultaneous polls sent by the Law Ministry.

The commission said keeping in mind the production of new machines, increasing warehousing facilities and other logistical issues, the first simultaneous elections can only be held in 2029.

With agency inputs.

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Published: 20 Jan 2024, 09:29 PM IST

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