Illegal interception of service lines, pulling a cable illegaly from the electric poles, tampering with the electric meter, removing the meter incoming and outgoing and installing an intercepting device in the meter are some of the tricks used by individuals and businesses to facilitate power theft. These practices are rampant in Udaipur.
Engineers and workmen from AVVNL are struggling with the menace of power theft and their efforts have so far met with little success.
AS per AVVNL Engineers, the efforts to stop or mitigate theft of power are getting them nowhere near ceasing cases of power theft. Power theft is increasing day by day. Udaipur circle has witnessed a power leakage of 10% whereas Nagaur, Sikar and other circles are facing a bigger challenge with power leakage going up to 25-30 percent levels. Though over 3,100 connections have been terminated due to non payment of dues, over 900 new cases of power theft have been registered. Rs 83 Lakh have been recovered from those accounts that were found to have been stealing power. 49 FIRs have been filed.
REASONS for Power Theft
- Lack of Monitoring by AVVNL
- High Fixed charge on residential units
- Lack of efforts to reconnect a disconnected unit legally
- Lack of dialog between consumers and AVVNL engineers
- No alternative arrangements once the connection is terminated
- Long waiting list of agriculture units seeking connections
As per YK Bolia, a retired officer from AVVNL, the long pending connection requests from farmers have resulted in power theft. Farmers are in need of electricity. However, the delay in getting connections leads them to steal power from the poles. He suggested that the government can run a pilot project and distribute connections to all applicants. This will reduce the incidents of power theft drastically.
Girish Kumar Joshi, ASE of Udaipur Circle explains that a first time culprit is levied a penalty. The penalty is decided on the basis of the load that has been consumed. This load and the time duration of power theft are the defining factors for whether the penalty should be booked under residential, commercial, agriculture or industrial. FIR is lodged against those who are found to be habitual miscreants.