Bhopal: Illegal drawing of power from directly from High Tension (HT) line by hooking at slum areas adjoining BHEL township have put hundreds of lives at risk. Web of hundreds of sagging wires hooked from HT line are a common sight in slum areas like Anna Nagar. Electricity is siphoned off from the transmission line to homes and even some small businesses like ironing and dry-cleaning units are running on the this power.
BHEL administration is dependent on police and local administration to check such illegal practices. Hundreds of households in the slums are running their electronic appliances and gadgets on the illegally drawn electricity. Unauthorised use of electricity for running appliances like Air Conditions, heaters, washing machines in households and even for dry cleaning and other commercial activities is putting additional load on the transformers and thus leading to low voltage problem.
Power theft is almost a way of life. The method is simplicity itself: just find the nearest overhead power cable, sling a metal hook over it, then run a wire from the hook to the home. An illegal supply of free electricity lasts until inspectors from the local power utility stage one of their periodic raids. These little wires run across the road siphoning off power from the transmission lines to homes and businesses located in the slum, which is a maze of little alleyways with children and animals stroll around. Most households here seem to have an illegal connection to the grid.
Admitting the lapses on part of administration, BHEL authorities claimed that they have been launching joint operation along with police, and district administration against this illegal practice. Public Relations Officer (BHEL) Raghvendra Shukla said with the help of police and government, we carry on raids against illegal power theft against people engaged in illegal drawing of power from High Tension (HT) Line in BHEL township specially in slums like Anna Nagar. “It is not only Transmission and Distribution (T&D) loss but also life threatening for slums dwellers as they carelessly draw power from HT line direct. BHEL bears T&D losses but the main concern is risk to hum life,” said the PRO.[The Free Press Journal]