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]

The Haryana lokayukta has directed state director general of police (DGP) to probe a complaint against the office of Gurgaon DCP (east) for allegedly drawing electricity illegally from a nearby pole for over two years between April 2012 and August 2014.During the period, the power supply of the DCP office was disconnected due to non-payment of arrears worth Rs3.9 lakh.

The lokayukta directive came on the complaint filed by a Gurgaon-based activist Harinder Dhingra, who filed a complaint taking cognisance of a Hindustan Times report of July 2014 titled ‘Police turn power thieves in Gurgaon’.In the order issued on April 17, the lokayukta asked the DGP to submit his report in the matter within a period of 30 days.A report by Dakshin Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (DHBVN) in the matter was also sought earlier. The DHBVN said in its reply that they had restored the connection at the DCP office on August 7, 2014, after the pending amount of Rs 3.9 lakh was paid to them

The DHBVN, however, submitted that they did not carry out a raid on the premises of DCP’s office to detect unauthorised use of electricity as mentioned in the complaint.The DHBVN stated that even at present, the office of the DCP owes ₹1 lakh to the utility. They said the amount has been paid despite the issuance of various memos and verbal reminders.In response to an RTI query filed by Dhingra with the Gurgaon Police, it was revealed that the DCP’s office used the load to run four air-conditioners, seven coolers, 18 fans and 22 tube lights. It was also stated that the police department had no record of the DCP’s office using any alternate authentic source of power to run appliances during the 28-month time when their connection was cut.[Hindustan Times & HT FILE PHOTO]

Electricity theft is costing Greece’s dominant power utility Public Power Corporation (PPC) about 170 million euros in lost income each year, it said on Friday, citing estimates by the Greek energy regulator.PPC has already been hit by 2.2 billion euros in unpaid bills as Greece’s seven-year economic crisis leaves a growing number of households struggling to pay.

That, and Greece’s use of easy-to-hack analogue meters, has encouraged energy fraud in poor neighborhoods.“It is a major problem that must be addressed as a top priority,” PPC said in a statement, adding that the total impact including lost revenue from uncollected taxes stands at about 250 million euros.Public disclosures by the Hellenic Electricity Distribution Network Operator (DEDDIE), which checks meters, show that verified cases of theft climbed to 10,600 last year, up from 8,880 in 2013 and 4,470 in 2012.[Reuters]