Domestic consumers top in power theft cases

KPTCLs Vigilance and Enforcement wing books 40,000 cases and slaps Rs 56 crore in fines in 2008-09

 
A recent inspection of power installations by the Vigilance and Enforcement wing of Karnataka Power Transmission Corporation Limited has revealed that of 40,000 power consumers (of all categories) caught stealing power, over 54 per cent are domestic consumers. Commercial consumers come second with 18 per cent, followed by Industrial consumers with 13 per cent. However, the wing has not quantified total power stolen by each category of consumer.

During its biggest inspection held between 2008 and March 2009, the Vigilance wing covered 3 lakh installations across all five electricity supply companies in the State. Irrigation pump set users are not included in the inspection.

The wing has come across over 20 different ways of stealing power, including bypassing meter reading by using additional cable (taking direct connection), disconnecting reading cable within the meter, manual rewinding of meter reading and among others.

Among ESCOMs, Gulbarga and Hubli companies (GESCOM and HESCOM) are found to be notorious in power theft with 25 per cent and 24 per cent of transmission and distribution loss respectively (intensity of power theft is measured with the amount of T&D loss). The BESCOM is in the fourth place in terms of T&D loss with 17 per cent, while MESCOM has least T&D loss with 13 per cent. The overall T&D loss of the State is 22 per cent.

“Over 54 per cent of power theft cases are connected to domestic consumers. It is really surprising as domestic consumers are generally considered as law-abiding and naive. All class of people living in urban and rural areas were found to have been stealing power. The findings of the inspection has not only helped us prevent power thefts but plan our future course,” KPTCL Director (Vigilance and Enforcement) Alok Mohan said.

40,000 cases booked

The wing has slapped a record number of theft cases and imposed fines as a result of the inspection. The wing has booked 40,000 cases in 2008-09 against 18,000 in 2007-08. Similarly, a fine of Rs 56 crore has been imposed in 2008-09, while it was just 25 crore in 2007-08.

The overall T&D loss has come down by 2 per cent after the intensive theft detection drive.

“T&D loss was 24 per cent before we took up the drive. After it was completed and action taken, the loss was 22 per cent. This is a significant achievement when the State is starved of power,” Mohan said.

Offenders

* Domestic          54*
* Commercial       18
* Industrial          13
* Temporary          8
* Big industries   0.25
* Others                6
* In percentage

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