Uttar Pradesh power minister Shrikant Sharma on Wednesday said that the state government’s priority is to curtail electricity theft in order to ensure 24-hour power supply to paying consumers.
The minister was in Modi Nagar of Ghaziabad to inaugurate an upgraded electricity substation and a new distribution substation on Wednesday.
The minister announced a provision of 24-hour power supply to nine feeders in Loni, four in Modi Nagar and two in Sikanderabad. He said that the government has started a drive against power theft.
“Electricity theft is a major issue that is hampering 24-hour power supply to honest consumers who pay their electricity bills on time. The government will soon bring in stringent legal provisions to punish those indulging in thefts. They could face a maximum of five years of imprisonment. The chief minister has already said that the feeders where the thefts are fewer will be given priority for 24-hour power supply,” Sharma said.
“We have requested the consumers to get their connections regularised and not to use illegal connections. Those using heavy loads in residential areas should also upgrade their load requirement. For residential consumers, we have also chalked out pending payment in instalments. The first instalment will be of Rs10,000 while the rest can be paid in four easy instalments,” he said.
He also reiterated the promise of PM Modi to provide power at cheaper tariffs to all by 2019. The electricity department officials are also expecting to open a major 400KV electricity substation in Indirapuram in May, in view of the expedited work.
“Earlier, breakdown of transformers was a major problem. Now, the government has launched a helpline number — 1912 — for registering our complaints. The electricity department will ensure that transformers will be replaced at the earliest. We require some time to change the dilapidated conditions that have been prevailing for the last 15 years. This is just a trailer, the film is yet to be rolled out,” he said.
The minister also said that the Bharatiya Janata Party is on a winning streak in every election since the demonetisation of higher value notes was announced last November.