Now, drones to catch power thieves in Lucknow
During morning raids in the last 15 days, 53 people have been booked for stealing electricity in Nigohan, Mohanlalganj and Samesi. A total fine of ₹5 lakh was also imposed on these consumers, says official
LUCKNOW The Lucknow Electricity Supply Administration (LESA), which caters to over 13 lakh consumers, has started flying drones to detect power pilferers and plug faults in the city.
To begin with, officials conducted a drone flight in Mohanlalganj recently where they caught several people stealing power. LESA used the recordings of the ‘katias’ as evidence against the power thieves.
During morning raids in the last 15 days, 53 people have been booked for stealing electricity in Nigohan, Mohanlalganj and Samesi. A total fine of ₹5 lakh was also recovered from these consumers, said LESA executive engineer RN Varma.
A good number of power thefts have been detected with limited use of drones. “A surveillance drone costs ₹1-2 lakh, and this cost would be recovered, if we detect four to five power thefts,” he said.
LESA officials are upbeat about the use of advanced technology to check power theft. “Whenever we used to visit the sites, people were informed in advance. Hence, most of the consumers who indulged in power theft became alert. But drones can be flown anytime without getting noticed by the consumers. We can record the ‘katias’ and unauthorised connections even during the night,” said Rajesh Kumar, LESA junior engineer in Mohanlalganj.
“A few consumers used to accuse LESA staff of entering their houses forcibly in the presence of women and defended their wrongdoing (power theft). But now with drones, LESA men would not be required to enter the houses or climb rooftops to check power theft,” he said.
LESA is also making consumers aware about the use of drones by the department for surveillance. Officials hope these gadgets would act as a deterrent in areas where LESA staff faces resistance and where people defame the staff by false accusations, said Varma.