Theft-prone colonies pose a challenge to Discoms

There is no official policy to cut power supply

Over 600 power theft-prone colonies in Delhi are posing a challenge for the three power distribution companies which are struggling to limit blackouts in these areas due to local faults.

Sources in the discoms claimed that there is no official policy to cut power supply to these theft-prone areas, however, power experts and BJP leader Vijender Gupta claimed that residents of these colonies, mostly unauthorised ones in east, west and north Delhi, suffer long power cuts almost every day.

Reason
“Whenever there is shortage of power or need to divert power from one area to the other, the theft-prone colonies are the first to face load shedding,” alleged Gupta.

The long power cuts in theft-prone colonies also pose a law and order problem for police when agitated residents take to streets and block traffic for seeking speedy repairs.
These theft prone colonies include: Mundka, Zaffarabad, Najafgarh, Bhajan Pura, Daryaganj, Walled City, Gandhi Nagar, Zafrabad, Yamuna Vihar, Shahdara, Karawal, Ashok Nagar, Jyoti Colony and Maujpur among others.

“In the last week, we faced outages for three days. My exams are approaching and because of these power cuts my preparation is hampered,” said Rajesh, a Delhi University student living in Daryaganj.

Excessive theft
Due to excessive power theft, power lines get snapped, transformers get burnt and even underground cables develop faults. It is increasing the number of trippings and local breakdowns, said a discom official.

“Due to the people who steal electricity, even those who don’t and pay their bills on time suffer,” he said, adding that there is lack of space in some unauthorized colonies to
augment the distribution network by installing electricity transformers.

In Shaheen Bagh Colony in south Delhi there is a house which has an electricity transformer within its four walls, said an official, citing practical problems in dealing with power outages in these colonies.

“The enormity of the problem can be gauged by the facts that only about 12,000 dwellings have an authorised connection in Shahin Bagh. Taking the advantage of the ground conditions and compounding the issue, many residents, even those who have metered connections, are indulging in power theft, by illegally tapping into the system,” said a discom official.

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