BHUBANESWAR: Keeping in view rampant power pilferage and understaffed energy police stations (EPSs), the State Government has decided to fill up at least 50 per cent of the vacancies within a month.
“The Home Department has instructed the State police headquarters to provide 152 police personnel, including 20 officers, to the energy police stations for effective functioning,” Energy Secretary G Mathivathanan told this paper.
The Police Department is in the process of deploying five inspectors, 15 SIs, 20 ASIs, 12 havildars and 100 constables in the EPSs and it will be completed within a month, he said.
Although the State Government has sanctioned 34 EPSs, 29 have been established. However, most of the EPSs are not only understaffed but also lacking in proper infrastructure.
The Energy Secretary said police personnel of the EPSs would not be utilised for any other purpose. The police headquarters will issue necessary instructions to the district SPs.
The problems, faced by the EPSs, were discussed at the State-level coordination committee meeting presided over by Principal Secretary, Home, UN Behera here last week.
Southco’s representative told the meeting that power theft was rampant in Aska block of Ganjam district and maximum number of unauthorised connections had been reported from the block. Southco is one of the poorly performing subsidiaries of the Reliance Infrastructure Limited (RIL). The chief executive officer of the utility made a request for a separate EPS at Aska. Ganjam district is already having two EPSs.
The meeting decided to shift the special police station (energy) from the Maoist-hit Malkangiri to Aska and the EPS, located at Panikoili, to Dhabalagiri in Jajpur district for similar reason.
The EPSs, sanctioned for Rayagada district, will start functioning after necessary infrastructure is created by the distribution company (Distcom).
The Distcoms were asked to provide a dedicated vehicle with driver and an orderly for each of the EPSs by May first week. The utilities will reimburse the salaries of EPS personnel and report compliance to the Home and the Energy departments.
The Distcoms were further directed to provide one assistant engineer to each EPS by May-end for facilitating raids and filing of FIRs.
The SPs have been instructed to review the performance of the EPSs in their district on a monthly basis. Executive engineer, chief vigilance officer and inspector/sub-inspector concerned will attend the review meetings.
The Additional Director-General of Police (Crime Branch) Abhaya told the meeting that the EPSs would start functioning at Keonjhar and Jagatsinghpur shortly.