While Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar was a delivering speech on implications of electricity theft to residents of Mokhra village in Rohtak district, the tent erected for his programme was allegedly using power illegally from a transformer.While chief minister was advising people to refrain from stealing electricity at Mokhra village in Rohtak on Saturday, ironically the event was allegedly being run partially on stolen power coming from a line clamped onto a nearby transformer.While the officials first denied the allegations, they later put the entire blame of the power theft on the contractor who had arranged for the tent for the event after the shocking visuals of power theft surfaced on social media.

Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (UHBVN) XEN Maninder Singh said they had arranged for generators for the programme that were being used to run coolers and air conditioners on the stage.The XEN claimed the illegal line was used by the labourers of the contractor. “We conducted an investigation after watching the visuals and found that the line clamped onto the transformer was set up by the workers of Neel Kamal tenthouse which was given contract to arrange for the programme. The workers had set the illegal connection to run their coolers and pedestal fans besides the stage,” he said, while adding that the line illegally used was anyway not sufficient to provide power to stage.

The XEN said they had registered a case against the contractor and imposed a fine of Rs 40,000 on him.Meanwhile, the event turned out to be a farce as the CM spent around 20 minutes during his speech in advising villagers to pay regular bills and refrain from stealing electricity, which is a common practice in rural Haryana.[Hindustan Times]

IROZABAD/AGRA: Following the state government's order, the Firozabad district administration has launched a massive drive to nab power thieves. Raids are being conducted in the early hours when people are fast asleep at home, so that they can be caught red-handed. Officials informed that in last three days FIRs have been registered against over 65 people in Firozabad, while such drives are being planned in Agra and other districts also.

Dakshinanchal Vidyut Vitran Nigam Ltd managing director (Agra) Sudhir Kumar Verma said, "The case is being registered under section 135 of the Electricity Act. The violators can save themselves from criminal proceeding after paying the compounding charges. We are not publicizing our raids, otherwise offenders might get alert and will try to evade detection. Besides Firozabad, such raids were conducted in Aligarh as well. Agra will soon follow suit."

Verma informed that the department has launched two schemes to provide reliefs to such people who have not paid their bills for a long or those who are stealing electricity. In Firozabad, district magistrate Neha Sharma led the raiding parties on past two days. The raids were conducted at Station road, Karbala, Dev Nagar, Purshottam Nagar, Mahavir nagar among others.

According to officials the raids were conducted just after the sunrise when people were sleeping at home, the aim was that they could not escape their homes to avoid prosecution. Even as many people who were awake and saw us coming, they tried to flee after putting a lock at their homes. Many also tried to remove the illegal wire that they had put on the main line, but all of them were caught, said Y P Singh, superintending engineer, electricity department.[TOI]

The city civic body-run power utility BEST has slapped a claim of Rs 4.85 crore on the owner of a restaurant in suburban Mahim for alleged power theft, an official said today. The Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) yesterday registered an FIR with Mahim police under relevant provisions of The Electricity Act against the owner of Status Gourmet restaurant, located opposite the Hinduja hospital on Savarkar road here, for allegedly stealing power, he said.

“Acting on a tip-off, our team raided the two-storey restaurant, which also has two banquet halls. We found that a cable for power supply was connected illegally through a changeover switch arrangement,” the official said.[FINANCIAL EXPRESS]