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Dim response to amnesty schemes

delhi Updated: Jul 11, 2008 01:16 IST
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Around 27,000 Delhiites have owned up to have stolen electricity, not paid their bills or tampered with their meters through the amnesty schemes offered by power distributors in the last two months. The schemes come to a close on Friday.

Considering the extent of power theft and meter tampering prevalent in the city, as projected by distcoms themselves from time to time, this appears to be a drop in the ocean.

For instance, in the past six years, the number of people who got caught stealing power or tampering meters was a whopping 84,000 in BSES areas alone. But the latest figures still appear to be a huge success for distcoms considering in a similar scheme during October-November last year, the figure for the BSES and the NDPL together was around 4,000 only.

“This time, the scope of the scheme was wider. That must be a reason behind the huge response,” said a distcom official. However, the breakup of the figurers of applications received by the two distcoms gives an interesting picture.

For instance, the power thieves in slum clusters have lapped up the offer of regularising of their hitherto unauthorised connections. The NDPL received 8789, while the BSES received 4,000 such applications for slums in their respective areas.

The number of power-thieves-wanting-to-be-forgiven emerging from south and west Delhi is almost double the number from east and central Delhi.

On the other hand, the number of east and central Delhi residents who had tampered with their meters but now want those replaced is almost double than that in tony south and west Delhi areas. The BSES, servicing almost entire Delhi — south, east, central and west — has received a little over 15,000 applications, whereas North Delhi Power Limited, with a much smaller area in the north, has managed to get almost as much—12,000 applications.