The recent drive by the PSPCL has detected power theft worth crores of rupees involving religious deras, policemen and even illegal units established in villages. Now, CM Bhagwant Mann has given clear instructions to the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) authorities to strictly act action against the consumers using illegal connections to end the power theft menace in the state.
As per the report of The Tribune, a PSPCL official has said, “the unchecked power theft has been backed by politicians for the past two decades. However, CM Bhagwant Mann has promised no political interference in the process to end to this menace.”
Shockingly, in Patiala, a police officer was caught indulging in power theft through direct ‘kundi’ via underground wires and Rs 55,000 penalty has been charged for the violation. Meanwhile in Ludhiana, the PSPCL nabbed 39 power pilferers and collected around Rs 13.8 lakh fine from them during raids conducted in Sahnewal.
While the Amritsar suburban circle and Ferozepur circle are the runners-up with a potential loss of revenue of Rs 175 crore each. The third position goes to the CM’s home town of Sangrur and Bathinda with a potential revenue loss of Rs 125 crore each, the Tarn Taran circle of the PSPCL tops in power theft in Punjab, with a potential loss of revenue exceeding Rs 300 crore per year. It amounts to 25% of the total revenue loss of Rs 1,200 crore suffered by the PSPCL due to the rampant power theft in the border areas of the state.
On the other hand, the PSPCL enforcement wing had detected a major theft of electricity at a Bhikhiwind-based religious dera in Tarn Taran district. “A fine of Rs 22 lakh was imposed on it,” said a PSPCL officer. Power theft was also detected at three small and two domestic connections in a Jalandhar-based factory manufacturing plastic granules. A fine of 48 lakh has been imposed on it. Sub-division officer Sur Singh has sent a notice of Rs 26 lakh as penalty for theft of electricity. An FIR has also been lodged at anti-power theft police station, Verka.
A PSPCL spokesman said that the enforcement team was investigating a complaint regarding theft of electricity. During the investigation, the team found that theft of electricity was being committed by directly connecting a 300 KVA transformer to the nearby high tension (HT) lines. During checking, a huge unauthorised load being used illegally was detected. It was meant for 17 air-conditioners, seven geysers, four electric motors, 196 lights and 87 fans.