However, an assessment of the loss caused by the power thieves to the department during the past 10 months has been peged at Rs 8 crore, and out of that officials have been able to recover only Rs 2.4 crore so far.
Officials said raids are being conducted during morning and late evening hours to nab the culprits red-handed. “The FIRs are being registered under 135 (power theft) and 138 B (illegally reconnecting power line) of the Electricity Act against the offenders,” they added.
The official data revealed that over 56,000 electricity connection points were checked during the past 10 months and discrepancies were found in 3601 cases. The maximum number of 1059 cases have been registered in Loni area, followed by Meerut Road (561) and Vijay Nagar (487).
AK Chaudhary, PVVNL chief engineer, Ghaziabad zone, said, “The department is following zero tolerance policy against power thefts. Our survey has revealed that power thefts cases are mainly happening rural and outskirt areas. We have increased our vigilance. Besides registering FIRs we are also encouraging the violators to take legal connections. The violators can save themselves from criminal proceeding after paying the compounding charges.”
To ensure that offenders do not slip off their hands, the department is also conducting raids in the early hours when people are fast asleep at home, so that they can be caught red-handed. The raids are being conducted just before the sunrise when people are sleeping at home. The aim is that they could not escape their homes to avoid prosecution,” he added.
Struggling with the bane of power thefts for decades, the Yogi Adityanath’s government had last year announced that people caught stealing electricity could face a jail term of up to five years, and which would be doubled for the second offence. However, in Ghaziabad no person has been arrested for this offence so far.
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