The North Eastern Electricity Supply Company of Odisha (Nesco) has slapped a penalty of over Rs 3 crore on the Tata Steel for the power consumed by the people staying in Gobarghati colony in Kalinga Nagar.
The enforcement wing of Nesco, Jajpur Road division, led by its Executive Engineer Ananta Narayan Bisoi detected over 110 cases of power theft. Most of them are displaced by the Tata Steel and are residing in Gobarghati colony.
“The displaced families have been using power without legal connection for the last eight years. After detection of the power theft, we installed a metre there and calculated the quantum of their illegal use for 10 consecutive days. Basing on that calculation, we have imposed a fine to the tune of Rs 3.31 crore on the Tata Steel asking to pay by month-end,” said Bisoi.
He said they have not disconnected the unauthorised power supply to the displaced families who have been using it fraudulently in the hope that the private steel company would pay the fine and make them bonafide consumers by depositing the entitled fees and completing the formalities.
Nesco had installed a 250-KVA transformer at Gobarghati under Duburi electrical sub-division in 2006. All the displaced families residing there have been consuming power fraudulently from the transformer since then. None of them is a consumer of the Nesco and the power distribution company has not even received a rupee from them as power tariff.
Nesco Shakti Karmachari Sangha alleged that power company officials in connivance with the Tata Steel have committed the irregularities for their vested interest.
General secretary of the Sangha Niraranjan Padhiary questioned how Nesco’s Duburi sub-divisional engineer, who has jurisdiction over Gobarghati colony, could not know about the power theft for the last three years. The SDO is hands in glove with the private steel company, he alleged. Meanwhile, the Nesco has ordered an inquiry into the allegations. “A departmental inquiry into the incident has been ordered to find out whether any official from our company has been involved in the power theft. Action will be taken if anyone is found guilty,” said Bisoi.