PSPCL tightens noose on thieves
Ludhiana, July 6:- In a bid to curb huge losses caused by power theft, Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) has issued directions to all zonal heads (chief engineers/engineers-in-chief) to lodge first information reports (FIRs) with the jurisdictional police stations in such cases where theft of power has been established.
The supervisory officials have been directed to ensure compliance of regulation 37.2.1 of the Electricity Supply Code 2014 which makes it mandatory to lodge an FIR within 24 hours against those found stealing electricity.
In a commercial circular issued from the PSPCL headquarters, it has been stated that many field officials were found negligent where lodging an FIR in cases of power theft was concerned. “Failure to lodge FIRs (criminal case) against the offenders within 24 hours is violation of regulation 37.2.1 of Electricity Supply Code 2014,” says the circular, adding that the zonal/divisional heads of the PSPCL were supposed to ensure meticulous compliance of the statutory provision.
According to PSPCL officials, power theft was causing a big loss of revenue and the menace has to be tackled by taking stern measures against the offenders. “Section 135 of the Electricity Act 2003 provides that in established cases of power theft, the guilty persons would face criminal proceedings in a Special Court and would also be liable to pay penalty equivalent to two times the tariff rate applicable for a period of 12 months preceding the date of detection of theft,” the officials added.
Power theft detected Meanwhile, four special teams of the enforcement wing of the PSPCL checked more than 9,800 electricity connections in the central zone (including Ludhiana) and detected nearly 2,000 cases of power theft, misuse of electricity, wrong metering, overload and other irregularities. A total penalty of Rs 1.64 crore was imposed on the defaulting consumers. Among those caught in the act were 109 cases of power theft and meter tampering (penalty Rs 38.05 lakh), 26 of wrong metering (penalty Rs 50.32 lakh), 11 of overload (penalty Rs 0.54 lakh) and 1,811 of miscellaneous irregularities (penalty Rs 75.13 lakh).