Still reeling from the acute power crisis of last week, Noida residents have now demanded that the power distribution corporation check for power theft and transmission loss, which account for nearly 10% of the total supply.
Despite the power situation being regularised in Noida, residents say curbing power pilferage and transmission losses could have eased the situation and provided some relief last week.
MLA Vimala Batham took up the matter with the state government following power cuts in the district that resulted in a public outcry.
"I had a meeting with officials of the power corporation a few days ago and I am likely to raise this issue in the assembly," Batham said.
The power crisis, which lasted for seven to eight days, was a difficult period for residents as they had to manage without electricity supply for five to six hours every day.
NP Singh, president of the federation of Noida residents' welfare association (FONRWA) said his association has raised the issue of power theft with officials of the Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation Limited many times.
"The theft has to be checked at the district level. Our letters are proof that we have made many correspondences with the officials in this regard," Singh said. He said that 7-8% theft was not negligible and was, in fact, a huge margin for a powerstrapped district.
The electricity board officials admitted that theft was a big issue for them and if controlled, it can help in streamlining the electricity supply.
An official also said power theft was mainly happening in rural areas and, hence, difficult to control.
"We conduct raids from time to time and impose fines on defaulters. We have a team of officials to keep a watch on theft," a senior UPPCL official said.
On the other hand, several consumers recently complained of inflated electricity bills. "I have a commercial electricity connection and received a bill of Rs 15 lakh for June-August. Even in the rarest of cases, it has not exceeded Rs 70, 000. So it (Rs 15 lakh) is 20 times more that what the actual bill should be," Arun Kumar of Sector 18 said.
Meanwhile, a UPPCL official said, "Yes, we receive many complaints regarding wrong or inflated bills and complaints of power theft. We correct inflated bills after a thorough examination."