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Big B?s plea fails to disconnect the katia

CHIEF MINISTER Mulayam Singh Yadav would have been confident for the success of Power Corporation?s idea of utilising the image of his friend Amitabh Bachchan in preventing power theft in the State. But, after a few months, the idea seems to have fallen flat. Theft is still going on with similar pace.

india Updated: Jul 01, 2006 10:59 IST
S Raju

CHIEF MINISTER Mulayam Singh Yadav would have been confident for the success of Power Corporation’s idea of utilising the image of his friend Amitabh Bachchan in preventing power theft in the State. But, after a few months, the idea seems to have fallen flat. Theft is still going on with similar pace.

A few months ago the power corporation brought a new idea to prevent power theft by changing the mindset of the people. For this, the officials hired the services of superstar Amitabh Bachhan.

Many hoardings were put up across the roads bearing photograph and message of Big B making an appeal to the masses against power theft. The hoardings were bearing a message about the value of electricity and to use it only after paying its due price. The message reads — Chuka Kar Jalayein, Bacha Kar Jalayein Bijli ki Keemat, Sabhi ko Batayein

But the idea seems to have fallen flat barely a few months after its inception.

The statistics of power theft in west zone of the UPPCL indicate that it has been a flop idea at least in 11 districts of the zone. Special anti-theft operations carried out in the zone suggest that theft is still going on and it needs more
effective planning and ideas to tap it completely.

Out of 1771 raids in 11 districts of the zone conducted during May this year, the officials caught 786 thieves. “A sum of Rs 6.62 crore was realized from them as penalty,” said A.K. Jain, dy general manager (Raid) of UPPCL west zone. Besides, a penalty of Rs 17 lakh was slapped against 676 persons for irregularities found either in their meters or sanctioned load. Not only this, 677 connections were also severed during the drive against theft.

These figures are only of one month. Thus, one can easily guess about the severity of power theft in the State. Big B’s services were hired with a hope that his charismatic image would discourage the power thieves.

But, it apparently failed to move the masses for this noble cause. Initially, it drew the attention of public. They read the message, saw Big B’s photograph on hoardings. Talked about it. But, soon it faded from their minds.

Officials are scared of giving their frank opinion on failure of his bigwigs’ innovative idea. Contrary to this, they plead that swelling size of UPPCL treasure is indicator of the success of idea in preventing thefts.

But, they fail to reply satisfactorily about the high rate of line losses that still prevails in many areas. In Meerut, there are many places like Nauchandi, Lisari Gate, Hapur road and scheme no seven where line loss is more than 40 per cent.