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Multi-pronged strategy: UPPCL to put power pilferers in four categories to check theft

The Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation Ltd (UPPCL) has decided to chalk out a new, multi-pronged strategy to check power theft after having failed to make any significant dent in the prevalence of the malpractice in the state.

The new strategy involves putting power pilferers into four categories to deal with different sets of offenders in a different way to achieve the desired results.

A task force constituted by the UPPCL under the chairmanship of additional director general (vigilance and enforcement) Kamal Saxena is expected to submit its report to the management very soon, suggesting the measures on how to tackle the chronic problem effectively.

Principal secretary, energy, and UPPCL chairman Alok Kumar said, “We have decided to chalk out a new strategy, wherein in we will have a different approach to a different kind of theft of electricity to get better results.”

He said the task force constituted by him in this regard will submit its report within the next two or three weeks.

He confirmed the UPPCL had put power theft in four categories. The first category includes organised theft, as indulged in by bi-load consumers like cold storages, ice factories, sawmills etc, generally in connivance with the staff of the electricity department.

The second category is of well-to-do urban domestic consumers, who steal electricity by bypassing their meters to run air-conditioners. The third category comprises urban slums and pavement dwellers who resort to drawing power illegally either habitually or because they have not been given valid electricity connection for any reason.

The fourth category has been formed for the rural consumers, who are given to using illegal connections and supposedly have the least interest in subscribing to formal electricity connection.”

“To deal with the first category of electricity pilferers, we will have to depend on data mining as well as informers and evolve an effective system of analyzing the consumption pattern to tackle the thieves of the second category,” Kumar said.

“The katiya use, as made by the third and fourth category, could be prevented by technological intervention like replacing all normal overhead cables with aerial bunch cables (ABCs).”

He said preventing power theft in villages was the biggest administrative challenge as there were around a lakh villages, including hamlets, in the state.

“But we feel the first two categories need to be dealt with mercilessly,” he said.

UPPCL sources said the corporation had also begun the new practice of doing more load shedding in the areas where line losses (theft) were very high.

“We have identified around 100 feeders, naming them ‘high loss feeders’, and told the regional load dispatch centres to do load shedding on these feeders first if there was power shortage in the state,” they said.[Hindustan times] Pic courtesy Hindustan Times