South Africa loses about R20 billion a year due to electricity theft in the form of illegal connections, non-payment of accounts, meter tampering, meter bypassing and ghost vending.

BESCOM vigilance cell taken for 200 km ‘ride’.

As Bengaluru expands radially, Bangalore Electricity Supply Company Ltd (BESCOM) vigilance cell is finding it increasingly difficult to keep a check on power theft violations

BENGALURU: As Bengaluru expands radially, Bangalore Electricity Supply Company Ltd (BESCOM) vigilance cell is finding it increasingly difficult to keep a check on power theft violations. Already facing a staff shortage, the cell has now written to the Company in a last-ditch effort to have resources allotted to them.

An excerpt of the letter written by M Narayana, Superintendent of Police, BESCOM Vigilance, read, “The city’s geographical size is huge and it can get difficult to cover this distance each day. Going to and fro means having to travel 200 to 300 km and our staff strength falls short. We need to re-organise the areas falling under BESCOM vigilance police stations and establish a new station in Electronics city.”

The proposal elaborates on how despite booking a case of power theft, it does not always translate to action taken on the same day. While they are supposed to file an FIR within 24 hours, it does not happen due to long distances.

Currently, there are only four vigilance police stations in the city: Jayanagar, Malleswaram, Rajajinagar and Indiranagar. The letter asks for Bengaluru south taluk and Anekal taluk to be separated and for the former to fall under a newly established Electronics city police station. Right now Electronics city area falls under BESCOM’s Ramanagara and Hosakote stations.

“The radius of one station’s limit is over 100 km and some have more than 200 villages under it. Establishing additional stations will bring down revenue loss to BESCOM,” the SP stated. Narayana told CE that new constructions and high rise buildings are coming up on the outskirts of Bengaluru and to be able to curb future violations, they need to expand their capacity. “Adding more stations will help increase manpower and make it easier to go on mass raids and inspections,” he said.

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