Power theft: PSPCL suffers 18-cr loss in 2 yrs in Doaba

Power theft: PSPCL suffers 18-cr loss in 2 yrs in Doaba

Ajay Joshi

Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, January 19

Owing to several incidents of power theft and meter tampering, Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) in the Doaba region has suffered a loss of over Rs 18 crore in the past two years.

In most instances, a big nexus of power theft facilitators as well as consumers came to the fore. While consumers were imposed with hefty fines, PSPCL employees were terminated from their services.

Officials at the Enforcement Wing of the PSPCL said since 2018, four SDO-level officers and 12 junior engineers had been sacked from their duties due to their indulgence in false practices.

Learning the fact that power theft was done in highest number by employees only, the PSPCL has geared up its Vigilance teams to remain alert and keep an eye on field staff taking meter readings, changing meters, checking meters, etc, and book them, if the Vigilance found their involvement in theft of power, said district Deputy Chief Engineer, Enforcement Wing, Rajit Sharma.

Of the 1,25,000 connections checked in 2018 in the northern region of the PSPCL, in around 1,800 connections, power theft and meter tampering were found. A total of Rs 8-crore loss was being assessed by the officials. Similarly, as many as 1, 60,000 power connections were checked in 2019 and 2,750 theft cases were detected. Besides, the loss was summed at Rs 10 crore. The figures were revealed after the Enforcement Wing conducted a number of raids at various localities in Jalandhar, Kapurthala, Hoshiarpur and Nawanshahr.

Sharma said the deficit amount was being recovered from the offenders. However, in old cases, the loss suffered remain unrestored.

Through power theft goes on throughout the year, most of such cases are detected between June to September as this is the peak time of electricity consumption. Around 400 power theft cases were detected only in July last year that caused a loss of around Rs 2 crore. Subsequently, 300 cases were detected in September 2019 that caused a loss of over Rs 1.3 crore.

The cases of power theft by workers were identified after the arrest of a suspect, Devi Dayal, in November last year. His arrest revealed 24 power theft cases in which PSPCL employees were involved. Rajit said: “As per the directions of CMD Baldev Singh Sran: “We would continue our drive to detect unauthorised connections. Theft of power indirectly results in the rise of tariff due to low revenue collection, which will eventually put a burden on honest consumers.”

Involvement of staff

In most instances, a big nexus of power theft facilitators as well as consumers came to the fore. While consumers were imposed with hefty fines, PSPCL employees were terminated from their services. The cases of power theft by workers were identified after the arrest of a suspect, Devi Dayal, in November last year. His arrest revealed 24 power theft cases in which PSPCL employees were involved.

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