Indicted in probe, power official in Rajasthan’s Barmer yet to face action
Power department officials in Rajasthan’s Barmer district have not yet lodged a first information report against an assistant engineer, accused of committing irregularities that led to revenue loss, despite a directive issued by higher authorities about two months backjaipur Updated: Oct 27, 2017 20:49 IST
Power department officials in Barmer district have not yet lodged a first information report (FIR) against an assistant engineer, accused of committing irregularities that led to revenue loss, despite a directive issued by higher authorities about two months ago.
Taking note of continuous power loss reported from Sheo block in Barmer, officials ordered a probe. The probe revealed that Sheo division assistant engineer Kailash Choudhary had supplied power to 25 disconnected agricultural connections.
Choudhary has not recorded consumption of 1.40 crore electricity units to benefit some people. He sold a few transformers, each at Rs 40,000 to Rs 50,000, without taking consent from the store department and recording the sale in the register, the probe revealed.
The inquiry report said Choudhary had taken bribe from consumers to reduce their electricity bills; he was blamed for the transmission and distribution (T&D) loss that touched 24.80% in the area.
On the basis of the probe report, Jodhpur distribution company (discom) officials suspended Choudhary on August 24, and directed Barmer superintendent engineer (SE) Mangilal Jat to lodge an FIR against the accused. HT has a copy of the letter issued to the SE.
Asked why no FIR has been filed, Jat said he had not got any directive. RD Bareth, secretary (administration) of Jodhpur discom, said he had directed Barmer officials to file an FIR. “I will check why local authorities have not lodged an FIR and take action over the negligence,” Bareth said.
The assistant engineer’s alleged corrupt practices came to light at a time the state government wants officials and public representatives to help curb power thefts and reduce revenue loss.
The government has urged officials, including district collectors and sub-divisional officers, and MLAs to adopt an electricity feeder each and help strengthen vigil mechanism by working in coordination with power discoms and local residents.
Chief minister Vasundhara Raje, while addressing a collector-SP meet on November 23 last year, directed collectors to bring down T&D loss by adopting the community initiative against power thefts at Bithur village in Ajmer district.
The CM said the state can save ₹3,300 crore every year – Rs 100 crore in each district -- by bringing down T&D loss to below 15%.
Official data shows Barmer district alone records ₹3 crore revenue loss per month because of power theft.