‘Massive crackdown against power theft’

PDD, Police plans night raids in Srinagar city, other areas

Srinagar: Power development department Kashmir, with the help of Jammu and Kashmir Police is planning to launch “massive” drive against power theft across the Srinagar city and other areas of valley.

One of the top officials of the Power development department said on Monday that the raids which have already been started, will be carried out over the next few weeks in posh colonies in city including other areas of the valley. “In the very first few days of the drive, power theft has been unearthed even in the posh colonies of Srinagar,” the official maintained.

He said that some of the areas where the raids have recently been conducted include Rajbagh, Jawahar Nagar, Bemina, Hyderpora, Peerbagh, Humhama.

The official said that due to apprehensions that our men may come under attack while conducting raids, teams are being accompanied by the police. The police will register FIRs against power thieves,” he said.

The top official said that the cases of power theft increase during the winter months, which leads to severe over-loading of the distribution system at places, resulting in power cuts.

There have been severe power cuts for the last few weeks and the phenomenon grows with each passing day.

The increase in power curtailment both in metered and non-metered areas of the Valley has evoked strong public outrage.

“If people use electricity judiciously and pay as per the consumption then there won’t be power cuts. We are trying to adhere the curtailment schedule as approved by the government,” an official of the PDD, said.

The official said the department had taken other several measures to stop the misuse of electricity in the Valley. “We have formed various teams who are conducting inspections even in the rural areas to stop power pilferage,” he said.

Last year, the State Vigilance Commission had asked the PDD to register FIRs in all cases of electricity theft or illegal power connections that come to the fore and monitor the progress of investigation and trial thereof.

Senior PDD official said there was already a provision in the State Electricity Act for strict action against a consumer who resorts to power theft. “But there is only lack of implementation of the Act in the state. The power theft increase during winters even though fine had been imposed against such people in the past. So it has been decided to file cases against those who often resort to power thefts,” the official added.

While people have been complaining that the PDD was not adhering power curtailment schedule.

“Ours is a non-metered area and there are around 14 hour power cuts in a day,” Mohammad Aslam, a resident of Padshahibagh said.
Similar complaints are also pouring in from metered areas where there are abrupt power cuts around eight hours in a day. “We witness frequent power cuts from the last one month. We are bound to get 24 hour electricity supply as per the rules but the PDD often resorts to power cuts of around eight-hours in a day,” Mohammad Ayoub, a resident of Lalbazaar said.

People said when meters were installed in their areas, the department had promised round-the-clock supply.

Instead improving the power supply position, the PDD authorities are blaming the people for the abrupt power cuts saying they were not using the electricity judiciously.


(With inputs from KNS)

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