The Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) Vigilance wing is all set to launch a crackdown on apartment complexes and power-intensive industrial units to check rampant power theft and pilferage.

K. Padmakumar, Chief Vigilance Officer (CVO), KSEB, said three quarters of power theft complaints reported in Kerala were from the Ernakulam region, which houses the most number of apartments and power- intensive units.

The officer has assigned monthly targets to each of the three zones (North, Central and South) to conduct surprise raids besides directing the district-level units to carry out at least two special drives every month.

To begin with, the Vigilance wing in Ernakulam has been asked to collect information on the power-intensive industrial units operating in the Aroor region and plan raids accordingly.

“Given that the State’s power generation capacity stands around 33 per cent of its overall consumption levels, even one per cent of pilferage can make a huge difference,” he said.

Further, rewards will be given to the public for tip-offs on theft, corruption or violation of discipline in the KSEB. The reward amount is Rs.50,000 or five per cent of the fine amount collected, whichever is less. “The public can call the toll-free number 1912, which operates round the clock, to give such information. After verification, the offenders will be booked under relevant provisions of the Electricity Act 2003,” he added.

As per official estimates, the KSEB Vigilance wing carried out about 34,313 inspections in 2015 and detected as many as 449 power theft cases in addition to 4,075 other irregularities. Based on these findings, it slapped a fine of Rs.31.33 crore on the offenders and collected Rs.18.69 crore.

[The Hindu]