VIJAYAWADA: In the year 2017 over 26,000 power theft cases were booked in the Krishna district, with net loss to the State exchequer being over Rs11 crore. This becomes alarming given the fact that AP is an energy-efficient state having bagged several awards.According to official sources, of all the theft cases registered, cases concerning additional load, which caused a net loss of Rs 8 crore to the State, tops the list, with consumers mainly booked for tampering with meters and indulging in direct tapping etc. to reduce electricity bills.
To be specific in 2017, 26,133 power theft cases were registered in the Krishna District and the net loss caused to the State exchequer for that was Rs 11.13 crore. Of these 26,133 cases registered, 22,636 cases alone were booked under additional load, at an estimated loss of rs 8.92 crore. Additional load cases relates to consumers using excess power without upgrading their metered usage. The electricity board officials collected `13.37 crore as fines during the year. The amount, however, includes fines on pending 1641 cases of 2016.
According to official sources there were over 15,000 power theft cases of 2017 pending in January 2018, with an amount of rs 6 crore plus yet to be recovered. During January 2018 alone, 2374 cases - mostly related to additional load factor - of power theft were registered.In the operations section of the Vijayawada circle as many as 2,237 cases of power theft were registered in May 2017, with the total estimated loss amounting to `91 lakh. In April 2017, 1,959 cases of power theft were registered.
Cases related to additional load factor increases during the summer months - between March and June. However, this year there will be lesser number of registered cases, than it was during the corresponding period last year, especially in the urban areas, said officials. “There won’t be much of power theft cases in the Urban areas. During the months in summer season - March to June - large number of additional load cases are registered, as people tend to use air conditioners, refrigerators etc.
We are conducting regular inspections and are also imposing fines on the consumers, who violate the rules and go for meter tampering etc. Whatever malpractice they indulge in, we will charge fine for a year and they have to pay the fine at any cost,” said Srinivas, Assistant Engineer at Vijayawada circle, APSPDCL. According to informed sources, though the officials were recovering the losses by imposing fines, majority of the cases were taking a long time to get settled.