Already facing public wrath for failing to supply adequate power, the state-owned electricity distribution company — Dakshin Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (DHBVN) — is faced with another problem of a high rate of power thefts.
To tackle this, the Nigam has decided to set up its own dedicated police station in Sector 31 to nail power thieves. Erring consumers will be prosecuted under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
Dedicated police stations will also be set up in Faridabad and Hisar.
The state government recently gave the go-ahead for the deployment of police personnel in the proposed police stations and finalised the budget as well. An ACP-level official will head these police stations. The Nigam will bear the cost, including the salaries, said SS Yadav, general manager, DHBVN, Gurgaon.
"We detected 649 cases of power thefts and imposed a penalty of Rs 2.10 crore on erring consumers during the month October alone. We have also written to various police stations for filing FIRs against 330 people who refused to pay the penalty," Yadav said.
Yadav said the figure of 649 cases was on the lower side and the actual figure would be much more than that. "It will be thousands of cases between March 2007 and October 2008, he added.
In the past, though the Nigam has detected thousands of cases of power thefts, no one has been sent to jail.
Yadav said his department had written to the police to file FIRs against the erring consumers but there was no action on their part.
"The Bureau of Public Enterprises -- a committee working on restructuring of various departments, including the DHBVN -- has approved the strength of the police personnel to be deployed at our police stations as well as the budget. We are still to get the exact number of manpower and budget," he added.