Ludhiana, May 18
When those mandated to check the crime, themselves start indulging in illegal activities and that also theft, the situation calls for serious course correction.
The Punjab Police have been caught stealing power in at least five police stations and offices in Ludhiana district. The theft was detected through direct kundi (illegal) connections and partially through electricity meters installed at police stations concerned and offices.
“Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL), which claimed catching the police stealing power, has slapped a fine of Rs 18 lakh on defaulters. The power utility has also asked the police to pay penalty else face disconnection and strict action as per law,” senior officials of power corporation said.
The official information of power theft by the state police compiled by the PSPCL, a copy of which is available with The Tribune, revealed that the women cell, a police station, a police post in Marado, another police station at Bhari in Khanna, and Samrala police station have been caught indulging in power theft.
While the women cell, a police station and Bhari police station were found committing power theft partially through meter and direct, Marado police post was caught stealing power directly through kundi connection.
According to the official data, the women cell owed Rs 10,43,092, a police station Rs 87,369, and Bhari police station Rs 1,050, while Marado police post was slapped a fine of Rs 6,26,119 for the direct power theft. However, the fine to be slapped on the Samrala police station was yet to be calculated, said officials.
Sources privy to the development said an official of the superintending engineer (SE) level had held meeting with a Deputy Commissioner of Police couple of days back. The SE had given the police time till today to clear the dues else the power connections of defaulters would be disconnected and stern legal action will be initiated against them.
Among other police stations and offices that were caught stealing power in the state, include the Moonak SHO, who was slapped fine of Rs 2,28,853, the Badrukhan SHO Rs 29,771, Sangrur city police station Rs 3,44,800, Amargarh police station Rs 7,20,400, Dakala police station, Bhunerheri police station (both were caught indulging in direct theft and fine was yet to be calculated), Kurali police station Rs 1.65 lakh, Asron police post in Nawanshahr (fine not yet calculated), Zirakpur police station Rs 17,380, Batala Urban Estate police post in-charge Rs 2,09,808, Darshan Avenue police station in Amritsar Rs 38,302, Ramsara police station at Rama Mandi Rs 6,20,049, Mamdot police station, Bare Ke police station, police building near Mamdot police station, Mohre Wala police post, Mudki police post (all in Ferozepur district, fine not yet calculated), Gunno police post, Bazidpur Bhoma police post, Patti Sadiqe police post, Kaller Khera police post (all in Abohar, fine yet to be calculated), Mandi Ladhuka police post, Khui Khera police post (both in Fazilka, fine not yet calculated), Sadar police station, Billaspur police post (both in Faridkot, fine yet to calculated), Mehna police station in Moga, which was slapped fine of Rs 9,07,871, NRI police station in Moga (fine yet to calculated), and Badshahpur police post in-charge in Kapurthala was found indulging in direct power theft and their fine was yet to be calculated.
We have adopted a zero tolerance for power theft, whether by government or private consumers. A special drive is underway to check and penalise those stealing electricity. Strict action will be initiated against all such violators. —Harbhajan Singh, Power Minister
I am seized of the matter and getting things fixed. We will be clearing the arrears and getting new connections, wherever required, most likely within a week. The issue was pending before I joined here. —Kaustabh Sharma, Commissioner of Police
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