Thursday, September 28, 2000,
Chandigarh, India



Strange way of calculating power loads

EVERY law-abiding person should be happy at the efforts of the PSEB to catch the black sheep stealing or pilfering electricity. However, the method of estimating the load of a consumer leaves much to be desired. Some examples: whether you are using a bulb of 15 Watts or 200 Watts, for them the load is the same.

A sophisticated light fitting, costing Rs 350 a set, may save electricity to the extent of 85 per cent, as compared to the ordinary (incandescent) bulb, but you are using the same load from the point of view of the PSEB. While calculating the load they presume that a room-heater is not for its use in winter nor is the airconditioner for summer; you are sure to switch on both of them simultaneously in the same room. This list of presumptions of the PSEB is illustrative and not exhaustive.

I wonder what makes the PSEB not to follow the practice being adopted in all the developed countries of the world. Certainly for those who are willing to pay, a gadget can be installed to check or obstruct the excess load. A simple verification of the strength and condition of the mini-circuit-breakers (MCBs) installed by many enlightened consumers should serve the purpose. As soon as the load exceeds the prescribed limit, the MCB trips and the electricity supply stops. It gets resumed as soon as the excess load is switched off.


At least those who have already installed MCBs should be shown some consideration. Wise engineers of the board should be having the knowledge of some other better and practicable methods as well.

The PSEB should make the consumers aware about the extent to which they have a right to their privacy. Some questions that can be asked are:

1. Can the inspecting team enter your bedroom, dressing room or bathroom to check the load?

2. Do you have a right to call your attorney in whose presence the checking of the load is to be done?

The board should learn something from the Customs Department at international airports. You can declare your baggage at the Red Channel or prefer to pass through the Green Channel. But anyone misusing the Green Channel Facility is fined very heavily. Before the physical verification of the load consumed by a client, he/she should be permitted to file a written affirmation regarding the load consumed. Or he/she should be given the option of “I do believe but you better check”.

Taking a cue from PSEB raids, certain junior functionaries of the board may also start making rounds asking overtly or covertly for gratification. Some of them may even not be connected with the board. The public should also be warned against these thugs.

People should also be thoroughly educated regarding the method by which the load is calculated. Some honest consumers believe that their peak hour and peak season consumption is their maximum load. But the inspection teams often confront them with the statement, “The connected load is much more than sanctioned, sir.”


Controlling population

This refers to the article “Not the way to control population” by Mr Rahul Singh (Sept 25). Debarring persons from contesting panchayat and local body elections who have more than two children would not solve the problem, may it be by the Maharashtra government or any other state regime. It is the poor, under-privileged and illiterate people who are mainly busy multiplying their population.

The real progress of a country can be seen from the standard of primary education, health care, hygiene and sanitation, clean drinking water, corruption-free administration and good roads. But, luckily or unfortunately in these fields of basic necessities we stand among the 12 most poor and corrupt countries of the world.

No government has ever thought of making a law to enforce the norm of having two children only for fear of losing the votes of the poor.

SAS Nagar



PAN allotment

This refers to the news item published in The Tribune on September 8 regarding the non-issue of PAN by the Computer Centre, Patiala, to the assessees of Himachal Pradesh.

The statistics given in the report were inaccurate. The Regional Computer Centre, Patiala, had received 1,73,604 applications from HP and out of which PAN has been allotted to 1,66,405 applicants. All the assessing officers of HP have been provided with PAN directories.

Those assessees who have not received their PAN can approach their Assessing Officers and ascertain their PAN from the PAN directories.

The Regional Computer Centre, Patiala, has received only 1678 non-core deficient letters from the assessees of Himachal Pradesh seeking some corrections in their PAN data. Corrections have been carried out in 628 cases and the PAN card issued.

Addl Commissioner of Income Tax (Systems)

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