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Thursday, Oct 17, 2019

Power theft: PSPCL imposes ₹100 crore fine in 5 months

cities Updated: Sep 22, 2019 00:59 IST

Cracking a whip on power pilferers, Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) has imposed a fine of over ₹100 crore so far this fiscal.

The PSPCL faces a loss of ₹1,000 crore every year due to power theft, particularly in the politically dominated areas of Malwa and Majha regions.

In a drive against power theft, 8% of total connections randomly checked by the PSPCL were found indulging in power theft. Most of the cases have been detected in the border areas of Tarn Taran and Amritsar districts, besides Bathinda, Muktsar and Patiala in the Malwa area.

Following chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh’s directions, the PSPCL launched a drive against the power theft. The corporation checked a record 8,61,173 connection since April 1 this year and detected 74,771 power theft cases. A total of ₹100.6 crore fine has been imposed in five-and-a-half month.

“Mostly, domestic consumers indulge in power theft. Patti and Khemkaran are two such subdivisions where over 60% power is lost to theft. Similarly, Patran in Patiala, some subdivisions in Muktsar, including Lambi, are on list where power theft is most prevalent. And people, especially farmer unions, don’t allow PSPCL officials to undertake checking. But after the CM’s direction, police are helping us. Most of the households steal power through ‘kundi connections, and it has become a trend in some areas,” said an official of the PSPCL enforcement wing.

The enforcement wing checked a total of 3,15,488 connections so far this fiscal and detected 37,575 power theft cases.

A police station in Patiala has also been imposed ₹8.5 lakh fine for using power through “kundi” connection.

At some places, the PSPCL squads were gheraoed and obstructed from checking meters by locals and the local staff accompanying the enforcement wing officials was also manhandled. FIRs have been lodged against the people involved in obstruction of theft detection drive at Wajidke village.

“Directions have been given to recover the fine and defend cases if any consumer moves court. The drive is gaining momentum,” said a PSPCL official.

During the drive, more than 10 PSPCL officials have been suspended and two dismissed from service for helping consumers in stealing power. PSPCL chairman-cum-managing director Baldev Singh Sran takes report on power theft cases on a daily basis and he has even circulated his phone number on which theft complaints can be made.

First Published: Sep 22, 2019 00:59 IST

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