Dedicated police stations for checking power thefts to be run by the Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation Limited (UPPCL) would come up in the state soon, Energy Minister Shrikant Sharma has said. Officers of the rank of Deputy Superintendent of Police, Inspector, Sub-Inspector along with Assistant Sub Inspector and Head Constable cadre from the state police department will be taken on deputation to facilitate functioning of these police stations. “The dedicated police stations to be run by UPPCL will be started in the next few months in all the 75 districts. Necessary clearance has been given by the state’s Home department,” Sharma told PTI in an interview.
Dedicated police stations to crackdown on power theft were announced last year but due to some objections from the Home department, they could not be set up.
On the need for such police stations, Sharma said that in order to check power theft, a stern approach was needed and therefore these special police stations would be set up.
Talking about other initiatives to check power theft, the minister said the number of vigilance squads have been increased to 88 from 33. “We have increased number of vigilance squads. In big cities, there will be two squads and in the rest there will be one.
Besides, we are also going to provide 10 per cent of the compounding fees realised from those involved in power thefts to the informer as well as the vigilance squad,” he said.
On the preparations of the power department to provide uninterrupted supply to consumers during the summer season, Sharma said, “We are geared up to provide adequate supply. Power import has been increased from 8,100 MW to 10,500 MW and grid capacity has also been increased from 18,500 MW to 21,000 MW.
“We have generation capacity of 10,500 MW…We are also upgrading transformers and working on solving low voltage and overload problems. People can expect better supply this summers,” the minister said.
“We are working on ensure that there will be no power cut by March 2019”, he said.
Asked about what his department was doing to realise over Rs 10 thousand crore dues from government departments, the minister said, “They have been given the option to pay their current bills and pay arrears in instalments.”
“The departments like irrigation, urban development, use power for the people and it was the inability of previous governments that they did not take up the matter of realising money from them during their regimes,” he said.
Highlighting his department’s achievements, Sharma said that they have provided about 33 lakh power connections including 11.25 lakh to the below poverty line (BPL) families, and over 2.5 lakh transformers were changed.
“As far as customers are concerned, we can only say that government’s motive is to provide cheap power to them and redressal of their woes are at top most priority. Through 1912 (customer care helpline) and e-nivaran application, over five lakh complaints have been resolved,” he said.[courtesy:paper dabba]