Theft of power transformers installed at tubewells in fields by farmers is common in villages of the district. The farmers either have to bring the transformers home or weld them on electricity poles. However, even that is a solution and there is always a risk of the transformers being stolen.
Four power transformers were stolen from Sirsari village on Tuesday night. Pargat Singh, a farmer of the village reported the matter to the police. The police have registered a case.
However, most cases of theft of transformers go unreported as farmers do not report the theft to the police because of harassment.
Most power connections released for tubewells during the past years are under the own your tubewell (OYT) scheme and farmers themselves are responsible for any kind of loss.
“Farmers are not compensated for the theft of a transformer and any farmer, whose transformer is stolen, has no alternative but to buy a new one. A 10 KVA transformer costs from Rs 20,000 to Rs 45,000. The police are also reluctant to register a case in this regard. So, in most cases, the farmers choose to bear the loss silently,” said Jagjeet Singh Dallewal, district president of the Bhartia Kisan Union (Sidhupore-Ekta), Faridkot.
“My 10 KVA transformer was stolen in October from the fields. However, I did not approach the police because of a lot of harassment and getting nothing at the end. It cost me about Rs 35,000 around three years ago. In the first attempt, thieves failed to take away the transformer. I noticed the attempt and then I got it welded with a frame on the pole. But, even then the thieves stole it after cutting it from the frame. The thieves steal copper and oil from it and leave behind an empty broken box,” said Gurmeet Singh, a farmer from Bukkan Singh Nagar near Kotkpaura.
“My transformer was also stolen and I had to buy a new one. Some farmers have now started using transformers with aluminum coils as the they do not steal this kind of transformer as the metal is cheap, but it is not efficient like the transformer made of copper. Copper is main attraction for thieves,” said Harman, a farmer from Faridkot.
As transformers are installed at tubewells in fields and are required to operate tubewells year round, farmers are helpless to protect them continuously. “It is very difficult to bring transformers home after paddy season is over as during wheat season too, we need it. It is also a time-consuming process to detach it from the pole and bring it home. Even welding them with iron frames on poles do not make them secure,” said Harman.
WHAT POWERCOM SAYS
“In case the transformer is owned by us, we provide the farmer with a new transformer after its theft and also get an FIR registered. But, if it is owned by the farmer, he has to bear the loss and we do not compensate them,” said Inderjeet Bansal, executive engineer, powercom, Kotkpaura.