Kerala: State electricity board’s equipment for remote power flow control stolen

The price of the lost FRTU is estimated to be between Rs 1.5 lakh and Rs 2 lakh.
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KOCHI: It seems the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) has to tackle the theft of not only power but its equipment too. Recently, a Feeder Remote Terminal Unit (FRTU) -- used to control power flow remotely -- was stolen from Alinchuvadu near Vennala. The Palarivattom police have launched a probe into the incident based on a KSEB complaint.

The theft came to the notice of KSEB officials on May 15 following maintenance work at the Ring Main Unit (RMU) installed near a tyre shop at Alinchuvadu. The officials found that the RMU box was open and the FRTU inside missing. The price of the lost FRTU is estimated to be between Rs 1.5 lakh and Rs 2 lakh.

“RMU is used to operate the electricity flow in 11KV lines while FRTU is used to operate the unit remotely from the station. We can also monitor the electricity flow and consumption using FRTU. It is a medium-sized box with switches,” a KSEB official said.

The electricity board officials suspect the theft happened between May 10 and 15. The previous inspection was carried out on May 10, when FRTU was in place. “We have never heard of such a theft before. There is a possibility of scrap collectors being involved in it. But only a person with some knowledge about electricity operation can dislodge it. It was a KSEB property with a serial number written on it,” the official said.

The police are checking footage from CCTV cameras installed at shops nearby to identify the culprit. “We are striving to identify and nab the accused as soon as possible,” Palarivattom Station House Officer Richard Varghese said.

In recent months, cases have been frequent where copper wires were stolen from factories and air-conditioners from houses. That apart, there is also a rise in the number of cases related to the theft of batteries installed in heavy vehicles parked in open places. In most cases, the arrested persons have sold these objects to scrap dealers for a good price.

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