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Transformer thefts another worry for Mansa farmers

The equipment is dismantled for oil and copper, materials that are later sold in local grey market; farmers claim cases 80% of such thefts go unreported due to legal hassles involved

punjab Updated: Oct 01, 2017 10:46 IST
Mohammad Ghazali
Mohammad Ghazali
Hindustan Times, Mansa
Mansa farmers,Punjab farmers,transfomers theft
The power transformers are dismantled for oil and copper, materials that are later sold in grey market; farmers claim cases 80% of thefts go unreported due to legal hassles.(HT File)

After water-logging and whitefly pest attack, transformer theft from fields has emerged as the new headache for farmers in the district with the sixth case in six months being registered on Thursday.

Farmers claim that the number of cases of theft of the equipment — mostly used to run tubewells — is around 40, but the rest are not registered. The recent victim is Amarjeet Singh of Makha village when a 10 KVA transformer was dismantled and the valuable scrap — copper and oil — taken away.

The market rate of a transformer of this rating (10KVA) is around Rs 40,000. In most other cases, the transformer is simply removed from its hinges and whisked away.

SHO Harpal Singh, who is posted in Sardulgarh sub-division, who has caught such a gang, said, “A 10KVA transformer has a market price of 40,000 and it only gets costlier as the power rating increases.

Thieves sell the oil and the copper material in the transformer which can get them somewhere around Rs 10,000,” he said.

Most of such sales happen in the local grey market, he claimed. “When my uncle reached the field in the morning, he found the transformer dismantled with copper and oil gone,” the farmer Amarjeet, who has lodged a complaint, said, adding that most theft incidents go unreported as farmers prefer avoiding legal hassles.

Theft means farmers spend out of pocket

Farmers claim that each such case means their out-of-pocket expense for operation increases. Power is free, so they could run tubewells with relative ease of mind. Once the transformer is stolen, they have to run generators pump out water for irrigation, adding to the expense.

“Our expenses increase till the department, the Punjab State Power Corporation Ltd (PSPCL), does not allot a new transformer as we have to run generators,” said a farmer from Malkpur Khyala village.

‘We issue new transformers, but police must prevent thefts’

PSPCL sub-divisional officer posted at Joga, Bhushan Goyal, said, “Thieves target transformer for copper as it sells at a good price. We have tried tinkering with it to prevent thefts.

Police need to prevent such cases. On our part, we issue a new transformer after investigation.” Police have failed to make any arrest in these cases. Joga SHO Ajay Parocha said, “We have increased patrolling the culprits will be nabbed soon.”

First Published: Oct 01, 2017 10:44 IST