Those stealing power could face externment, passport cancellation

The Bhandup division of state-run power supplier, Mahadiscom, has sent a list of 12 serial offenders to the Thane Police Commissioner seeking their externment

Looking to crack down on rampant power theft, the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (Mahadiscom) has written to the police asking that serial offenders be punished with externment, and their passports be cancelled as well.

In the Bhandup division alone, Mahadiscom faces nearly 50 per cent losses in distribution and transmission due to power theft. Representation pic/Thinkstock
In the Bhandup division alone, Mahadiscom faces nearly 50 per cent losses in distribution and transmission due to power theft. Representation pic/Thinkstock

On Monday, the Bhandup division of Mahadiscom wrote to Thane Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh asking him to extern people who had been charged with stealing electricity.

“The transmission and distribution loss in areas near Mumbra and Diva is about 50 per cent. We have around 1.10 lakh customers in Bhandup division, and we supply around 35 million units of electricity. But, we only receive payment for around 18 million units, the rest of it is a loss.

We want to reduce these losses and have been carrying various drives with the vigilance squads. Till date, we have booked 1,177 violators,” said Satish Karpe, chief engineer of the division. This causes a loss of nearly Rs 6 crore a month in the Bhandup division alone, which covers the Eastern suburbs from Powai and Kanjurmarg to Panvel and Kopar.

The major loss comes from Mumbra and Diva areas, said the officer. “We have given the names of 12 people in the belt of Mumbra, Diva, Kopar and Shilphata area who are serial offenders. We have requested the commissioner of Thane Police to extern these people, so that cases of electricity theft are reduced,” said Karpe.

Mahadiscom officers have also requested the police to cancel the passports of people booked under Sections 126 (assessment of charges for unauthorised electricity) and 135 (theft of electricity) of the Electricity Act, 2003. “Many of the offenders often visit foreign countries. If their passports are cancelled, they will not be able to travel abroad,” said Karpe.

Power theft is rampant across the state, where Mahadiscom suffers an average loss of distribution of 13 per cent. Before January 2014, this figure was slightly higher, at 14 per cent. The power company will now study how effective its move is to curb theft in the Bhandup division, following which officials might write to police chiefs across the state with the same plan.

Rs 6 crore
The monthly loss in the Bhandup division of Mahadiscom

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