Hyderabad: At a time when the entire State, including Hyderabad, is reeling under severe shortage of power and the government is directing its officials to switch off ACs, it would be well advised to focus its attention on power pilferage as well. The three-hour power cuts in the twin cities could perhaps be avoided if the rampant power theft is at least minimised.
A cursory glance at the records of the Central Power Distribution Company Ltd (CPDCL) reveals the extent of the problem. Between August 2011 and July 2012, as many as 17,807 cases were booked in the State capital for power pilferage, overuse and defective metres. A staggering Rs 19.52 crore was collected by way of penalties. Officials admitted that this was just the tip of the iceberg. “Many get away with power theft and unauthorised and over usage of power,” an official said on condition of anonymity.
Of the total number of cases, 2736 pertain to power pilferage and 7369 to unauthorised usage. The remaining cases relate to over usage and back billing (for defective metres). If one breaks down the penalties, Rs 1,21,23000 was collected from offenders for power pilferage and Rs 6,57,15000 for unauthorised usage. Of the 2,736 cases of power pilferage, 2048 were reported from the South Zone alone.
The three-hour power cuts in the twin cities could perhaps be avoided if the rampant power theft is minimised.
Statistics also reveal that out of the average 19.77% of loss incurred by the APCPDL from the Metro (Hyderabad) Zone in the last three years, more than 47% was from the South Zone. Compared to previous years, this time the company has hiked fines in order to deter potential offenders. However, it hasn’t deterred anyone but surely, it has helped the company collect more than the usual amount of fines. The total fine amount collected between last year August and July this year, Rs 19,52,51000 far exceeded the Rs 12,35,72000 collected between 2009-10.
Interestingly, unauthorised connections, were reported more from the North Zone which includes Secunderabad and Banjara- Jubilee Hills areas. Out of the 7369 cases booked between August 2011 - July 2012, 3545 cases were reported from the North Zone. During the corresponding period in 2010- 11, 4228 of the 7685 cases and in 2009-10, 3945 of the 6260 cases were booked in the same zone.
“It is not just the Old City which has a good number of defaulters. Banjara Hills too is a cause of concern. Many people take connections ostensibly for domestic consumption but end up using the same for commercial purposes. This causes losses as their power consumption is far more than an average domestic household,” explained an official.