Agra, May 28: Having fed up with the bane of power thefts for decades now, the Yogi Adityanath government has decided to take stringent steps to curb burglery. Anyone caught stealing electricity will have to face a jail term of up to five years from June 15. This is part of the state’s efforts to provide power 24×7 for all by the beginning of 2019. The Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh, which has signed the ‘Power to All’ document with the Centre to provide 24×7 electricity supply to all households is gearing up to replicate Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home state ‘Gujarat Model’ to curb rampant power theft in the state.If caught, the defaulter will be arrested and asked to pay up to six times the pending dues while those using more than 10KW sanctioned load will face imprisonment of up to five years. Such consumers will be debarred from using electricity for up to two years. Repeated for the second time, one will go to jail for 10 years.
Meanwhile, the government has already decided to come up special police stations that would be established to deal with these cases. According to an internal assessment report on Aggregate Technical and Commercial losses till December 2016, prepared by the UP Power Corporation Limited, of the total power supplied almost 31% of power was pilfered last year, TOI reports.
NC Agarwal, director (personnel), Dakshinanchal Vidyut Vitran Nigam Limited, said, that “the amnesty programme of the UP government against power thieves ends on June 15, we will launch a massive drive against power thieves. Earlier, we used to impose penalty to the defaulters. But now, an FIR will be lodged and the offender will be sent to jail.” According to the reports, out of every five electricity consumers in Etawah, the home district of SP patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav, only one pays electricity bills. The situation is similar in Gorakhpur, parliamentary constituency and home districts of UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath. The power pilferage in Gorakhpur is to the tune of over 80%, the report said. As per Central Electricity Authority data, 71 percent and 19 percent UP households in rural and urban areas respectively are devoid of electricity connection. At the same time, about 6.3 million consumers derive power through illegal connection and are unbilled. The number of various category of electricity consumers in the state is about 18.8 million. The aim to providing ‘Power to All’ by October 2018 would require new power connections to 20 million additional households.[OneIndia News]