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PCL gearing up to deal with thefts of transformers, oil

THE DETERIORATING law and order situation in the State is taking its toll on the electricity department as well and the power officials see things going out of their hands.

india Updated: Dec 13, 2006 10:56 IST

THE DETERIORATING law and order situation in the State is taking its toll on the electricity department as well and the power officials see things going out of their hands.

Leave alone all rampant power pilferage that was always there in the system, now cases of theft of transformers, transformer-oil and overhead electricity wires are growing alarmingly posing a formidable challenge to the UP Power Corporation Ltd (UPPCL). The Corporation has started preparing police station-wise lists under all the five discoms, including the KESCo to analyse the situation and effectively control the menace.

The gravity of the situation can be fathomed from the fact the in the Madhyanchal (Lucknow) discom alone more than 1400 transformers were stolen from public tubewells, and around 400 km of wires carrying electricity to State tube were chopped off and stolen by miscreants in various districts under two divisions alone—Lucknow and Bareilly. All these thefts took place between April and October 2006. The discom is yet to get details from the Faizabad division.

And mind it, the figures relate to State tube wells only.

A report sent to the UPPCL management by discom MD BB Singh shows that the company had to cough up around Rs 6 crore to restart the State tube wells that had been lying defunct due to theft of their transformers and wires! At times, the discoms have to use galvanized iron wire when the usual wire is stolen and not readily available. “But in that condition the electricity voltage drops causing inconvenience to the consumers,” said a senior PCL official, adding “the thieves do not spare even the galvanized iron wire which comparatively cheaper.”

An analysis of the report sent on December 7 shows that Lakhmipur district topped all other districts under the Lucknow and Bareilly divisions in number of transformer theft cases. Here 316 State tube well transformers were stolen during the current fiscal. It was followed by Hardoi and Sitapur where 297 and 262 transformers were stolen respectively. The number of transformers stolen in Bareilly, Budayun, Shahajhanpur and Pilibhit stood at 161, 165, 155 and 60, respectively.

Budayun district led other districts when it came for the theft of electricity wires. More than 129 km of over-head electricity wires catering to State tube wells were pilfered in this district. Budayun was followed by Hardoi, Sitapur and Bareilly districts where miscreants walked away with 120 km, 48 km and 15 km of electricity wires.

The MD in his report has admitted that all requests to the police and the district administration officers and lodging FIRs in the cases have failed to control over the growing number of thefts.

“You are, therefore, requested to take necessary action on your level so that incidents of closure of tube wells due to theft of transformers etc could be checked effectively,” he suggested.

Since the Assembly polls in the State are drawing nearer, the politicians are said to have started taking up issues of public interest. They are now regularly sending requests to the UPPCL or discoms for replacing the stolen wires or transformers in their areas so that the dry tube wells could function or people could get electricity. Not wondering then, the issue of growing theft of transformers/wires has caught attention of Energy Minister Shivpal Singh Yadav too. He said that officers of police station concerned would be punished in case of theft of transformers, transformer-oil and wires.

Sources said that the statewide figures of theft of transformers etc and the quantum of monetary loss not only in respect of tube wells but in general could be mind- boggling.

First Published: Dec 13, 2006 10:56 IST