Power theft goes unchecked in UP, supplier losses amount

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Lucknow,June 20: Whatever may be the government’s claim,there is no indication of a  change in the situation in Uttar Pradesh  on the power-theft front.Leave aside the rural areas and smaller towns, Katia or hook, which is used to draw illegal power, can be seen in many parts of the capital city in the night.

This menace which is causing huge losses to the distribution companies or Discoms is going unchecked despite government warnings and measures to end it.

Official figures of  anti-theft police stations in operations are not yet available,but it is believed that they have been set up in many districts.This is assumed in the light of the fact that the state government had decided more than  a year ago to  set up special police stations for the purpose and created  over 2000 posts for this five months ago.Each district was to have 28 officials in each of these “thanas” .

Power theft  takes place more at the outskirt of the cities,besides rural and semi-urban areas,unofficial reports said.Police connivance  possibility is not ruled out in these cases.

There has been no report of any massive raid conducted this year but in the raids conducted  last year more than one lakh power theft cases were detected.This was done between April 1 and November 5,2018. It could have a bearing on the decision to set up separate police stations.

First Information Report or FIR was lodged against more than 4,000 persons who refused to pay the penalty.Over one lakh complaints were filed but other cases were closed after collecting fines.Raids were conducted jointly by the state police and Discom officials.Five distribution companies– Meerut,Agra,Lucknow,Varanasi and Kesco–had taken part.They were enriched by  as much as Rs 13 crores.

Surprisingly,most of the theft cases were detected in the western part of the state which is much better economically

because of higher agricultural yields. Meert,Aligrarh and Ghaziabad had topped the list.Lucknow had also figured because the construction activities have increased in the city in recent years and many construction workers and companies have illegal connections.

Mainly because of this theft,an  estimated 40 per cent of the power supplied goes unpaid.According to an official report available on a central government site, the Aggregate Commercial and Technical Losses in the state was 37.92 per cent. Ten to fifteen per cent losses are due to technical problems.Above that is caused by pilferage.

The state may not be above others in other fields but may be holding a dubious distinction in this area.