Even after being fined of Rs 1.97 lakh for power theft at Mataur police station in Phase VII, the city police continue to steal electricity through "kundi" connections at two more police stations.

The power is being stolen with impunity at the Mohali and Nayagaon police stations.

“This theft has been continuing since both police stations started their operations," said officials of Punjab State Power Corporation Limited."As both police stations are being run from the sites for several years, the amount of power theft must have been running into several lakhs of rupee," added the officials.

It is to be noted that a case of power theft has already been registered against the Nayagaon police station at the anti-power theft police station in Patiala following a raid by its team earlier.Adding insult to injury, the Phase I and VIII police stations in the town have not paid their electricity bills, running into more than Rs 25 lakhs, for years. The Power Department is yet to recover around Rs 17 lakh from the Phase VIII police station and the rest from that of Phase I.While the Mohali police are yet to pay fine imposed at the Mataur police station for kundi connection, the Power Department on Saturday installed an electricity meter at the site.[THE TRIBUNE]

Financial support provided by the state government that led to reduced interest burden has reduced losses of discoms (power distribution companies) in Rajasthan.There is, however, need to improve efficiency and increase vigilance to reduce power thefts in rural areas for discoms to meet the targets under UDAY scheme, sources said.Last year, the discoms in Rajasthan missed their loss-reduction targets under Ujwal Discom Assurance Yojana (UDAY).

Rajasthan was also running behind schedule in curbing the aggregate technical and commercial (AT&T) losses or pilferage and theft of electricity.In November 2015, the union government had introduced a rehabilitation scheme UDAY as discoms’ accumulated debt ballooned to ₹4.5 lakh crore by September 2015.The discoms in Rajasthan accounted for ₹80,500 crore or nearly 18% of the total debt. Since the launch of the scheme, the state government has issued bonds and effectively transferred discoms’ debt worth about ₹60,000 crore to its balance sheet.However, the UDAY scheme mandates that in return the discoms will reduce aggregate technical and commercial (AT&C) losses, and the gap between cost of supply and realised revenue, as per the agreed trajectory.

UDAY also requires the state discoms to initiate revision of tariffs in order to pass on legitimate costs to consumers and mitigate the burden.According to official figures, out of the 3,09,383 units checked last year, 1,67,601 cases of thefts were detected till December 2016, which is about 54% of the total.“The government has appointed feeder in-charge for 11 KV feeders in rural areas while engineers have been given the responsibility of reducing the transmission losses (power thefts) in cities and in industrial areas,” an official of Jaipur Vidyut Vitran Nigam said.Constant vigil and steps such as seizing of illegal transformers have also been proven effective in reducing the losses.

In 2016-17, the discoms have reported a reduction in distribution loss by 4.30% while the estimated reduction in annual fiscal loss is ₹6,000 crore from ₹11,240 crore to ₹5,200 crore.The government has set an ambitious target to bring down discom losses to ₹1,400 crore in 2017-18.[HT]

VIJAYAWADA: Andhra Pradesh Southern Power Distribution Company Limited (APSPDCL) is losing heavily due to power thefts in its jurisdiction across eight districts.

According to the company's vigilance wing report, a large number of people were consuming power illegally. Except in Guntur and Krishna, in all the other six districts, the company is losing 25 to 30 per cent power due to the thefts. The percentage of thefts in Guntur and Krishna districts is 16 per cent and 19.5 per cent respectively.

The metered sales of the company in Anantapur district is 47 per cent. In Kadapa it is 50 per cent, Chittoor-57 per cent,  Ongole-67.5 per cent, Kurnool-69 per cent and Nellore district-71 per cent. In Guntur district, metered sale of power is 84 per cent which is highest while it is 81.5 per cent in Krishna district.

Speaking to mediapersons here on Saturday, Superintending Engineer, Vigilance of APSPDCL V Ravi admitted theft of power in huge volume.

However, the SE said that vigilance wing was conducting surprise checks to rein in power thefts. During the current fiscal from April 2015 to February 2016, a total of Rs 27.17crore penalty amount was collected by registering 37,142 cases. Due to the court cases and appeals, 48 per cent of penalty amount has not been collected, Ravi explained. "In 2015-16, we have registered 124 cases in aqua sector and collected Rs 3 crore as penalty," he added.[NIE]