The enforcement wing of the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) has stepped up the drive to effectively curb the menace of power theft through ‘kundi’ connections and other defaults, which make a big drain on the revenue of the power utility.In the course of a month-long campaign, 2,200 odd consumers were caught for theft, meter tampering, overload and other irregularities and a penalty of Rs 1.69 crore has been imposed on them.

The officials of the enforcement wing said special teams constituted for this purpose had carried out inspection of energy meters and premises of more than 9,500 consumers belonging to domestic, commercial, industrial and agricultural categories. “Out of the total connections checked, nearly 2,200 cases of power theft and other irregularities were detected and a cumulative penalty of Rs 1.69 crore had been slapped on defaulting consumers.”Giving more details, the officials said a penalty of Rs 42.56 lakh was imposed on 131 cases of power theft, Rs 41.30 lakh on 712 cases of meter tampering, Rs 3.39 lakh on six cases of overload/ misuse of electricity and Rs 81.74 lakh on miscellaneous irregularities.

“Demand notices of penalty have been issued to consumers and in case of default in payment, criminal cases would be registered against the erring officials,” said an official.The PSPCL authorities have warned consumers indulging in power theft or other irregularities, saying that a drive against all attempts of misuse of electricity would continue relentlessly and defaulting consumers would have to face serious consequences.[The Tribune]