Hyderabad tops power theft list in AP

The old city has the dubious distinction of registering the highest number of electricity thefts.

Hyderabad: The old city of Hyderabad has the dubious distinction of registering the highest number of electricity thefts in the state. Electricity worth as much as Rs 252 crore is stolen every year.

“Though cases of power theft are found in other parts of the state, it does not exceed 12 per cent of the total power consumed in an area. Whereas the total power theft in the old city alone accounts for a whopping 47 per cent,” said Y. Nagi Reddy, joint managing director, vigilance and security, AP Transco.

“The power theft in SPDCL limits (Tirupati headquarters), NPDCL limits (Warangal), on an average is around 10 per cent. The lowest is in EPDCL (Vishakapatnam) limits, according to information revealed in an RTI request,” said A. Punna Rao, convener of the Praja Energy Audit Cell.

Curbing the rampant power theft in the area is a big challenge to APTransco officials, and one in which they are failing. Tampering with electric meters and bypassing connections are two common methods of evading payment.

According to officials, the theft is rampant in South Circle areas, including Barkas, Kazipura, Chandrayangutta, Edibazar, Hasan Nagar, Pahade Shareef, Mehdipatnam and other slums surrounding the Charminar.

“Most houses in these areas have tampered with the electricity meter or bypassed connections. And they don’t use just basic electricity equipment like light, fan and TV; most of them have electric heaters for cooking, and air-conditioners. Since the equipment is substandard, the power they consume is much higher,” said A. Ramakrishna, SE DPE, CPDCL.
Power officials say they are physically intimidated if they try to rectify the meters.

“Our linemen and inspectors are terrorised. In many cases they have been manhandled and assaulted. Most of the meters are installed inside the houses and they do not allow inspectors inside. When we took up work to shift the meters outside the houses, there was stiff resistance. Police is unwilling to accompany our officials, claiming that it is a sensitive area,” said an APCPDCL officer.

( Source : dc )
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