Despite all efforts by the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL), power theft incidents are still coming to fire, as people have started opting new ways for stealing power.
The anti-power-theft police station in Ludhiana, which deals with the Ludhiana, Moga and Fatehgarh districts, has registered FIRs against 469 persons for power theft till date this year.
The ways for committing electricity theft have also changed with time. Now, people try to find out more advanced and secure ways for power theft, thus saving their money on electricity bills.
In a case registered on Monday, Mahinder Singh, a resident of Bhaghampura in Moga, was found tampering with the electricity meter for evading bill.
The inspection team found that meter reading was running slow as compared to the load of the electricity being used. He was fined Rs 42,703.
This is not the sole case as people use other latest technologies to tamper with the meter.
An official at PSPCL anti-power-theft station said, “Nearly a month back, many houses were found stealing electricity. They had hired an expert to tamper with the meter of all houses in lane, despite the fact that meters were installed outside the lane in meter box.
Anti-power theft police station head munshi Balbir Singh said, “We get to know that various methods of stealing electricity are being adopted by the residents.
Direct kundi (direct connection from others’ meter) is a popular way in rural areas, but in urban areas, where advanced technologies have been installed under R-APDRP scheme and meters are also installed outside homes in the meter boxes, people find innovative ways to steal electricity.”
“Cases have been registered against the defaulters under Section 135 of the Electricity Act (theft of energy). Those who don’t pay fine, their cases are taken to session court,” Balbir Singh said.
It is pertinent to mention that due to power theft, problems of short circuit, overloading or damaging of wires take place, thus causing inconvenience to consumers as well as corporation.
Anti-power theft police station inspector Kulwant Singh said, “These 469 complaints are only of those persons, whose names were sent to us by the PSPCL department.
We register FIR against them and take their cases to the court. It is non-bailable offence with at least three-year imprisonment, if a person found guilty fails to submit the penalty.”