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Cold Comfort
PCS officer pays up for kundi
Varinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Patiala, August 2
The power-strapped Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) authorities are not in a mood to spare even the ‘big fish’ what with a PSEB team detecting power theft at the Majithia Enclave-based residence of a PCS officer Surinder Kaur Riar and making her cough up dues and fine to the tune of Rs 2.83 lakh on the spot.

The PSEB authoroties have also recovered dues and fine of Rs 4.25 lakh from owners of Patiala-based Cuizine Restaurant, which also figured in the list of those indulging in power theft on a large scale during a PSEB raid on Thursday. Riar, it was learnt, was working in the capacity of assistant excise and taxation commissioner while, her husband is a senior retired Army officer.

Interestingly, besides Riar, owners of Cuisine restaurant and and a number of some other small defaulters preferred to deposit dues and fine on the spot after the raids. The PSEB officials, led by SDO Jatinder Garg, conducted raids on more than 250 residential and business premises on Saturday. They particularly targeted the ones falling in different localities under the jurisdiction of the Civil Lines sub-division of the Board.

The PSEB team got a shock when it detected that as many as five air-conditioners and some other electrical gadgets were running at Riar’s kothi in the morning in Majithia Enclave allegedly with the help of a kundi connection. The power was being drawn from the main line.

The PSEB, however, was unable to determine as for how long the kundi connection was operational on the premises to the advantage of the official. It was a different matter the woman officer exhibited a sense of grace by depositing the dues and fine amount immediately after the raid, said a senior official of the PSEB.

“The restaurant owners also preferred to deposit fine and dues of Rs.4.25 lakh on the spot instead of resorting to the alternative of contesting the PSEB action,” said the PSEB officials.

Apart from conducting a raid at Riar’s premises, the PSEB team raided nearly 250 residential and business premises in the area and recovered dues and fines worth over Rs. 1 lakh from those dubbed by the PSEB as “small players” in the power-theft game.



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