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CIVIC JOURNALISM

EFFORTS OF MSEDCL TO CURB ELECTRICITY THEFT CASES?

Aurangabad, August 5, 2017: Theft cases amounting Rs.126.42 lakh were registered from April-2017 to June-2017 which is one of the major issue for the city. According to the official report only Rs.6.95 lakh were assessed and FIRs were filed against the rest of them in the concerned police stations.
According to the govt. as for the household consumption, 2kW is permitted and for the commercial consumption, 20kW is permitted. If broken the law, charges are imposed according to ‘Electricity Act 2003’. Under this act, two sections are assigned for the theft of electricity; Section 126 and Section 135. Under section 126, stealing electricity of neighbours and using the provided electricity for other purposes than the permitted ones are covered. Section 135 includes theft of electricity using hooks on service wires, bypassing meter wire, using remotes to stop the transfer of electric current to the specified location, breaking of shield of meter and trying to manipulate the readings and the mechanics of the machine.

Stats of MSEDCL of Recorded Thefts

An official of MSEDCL said, “DP gets burned and also the distribution company suffers energy loss because of the theft which results into huge economic loss. Also, many accidents occur because of the broken wires left on the street which are results of theft. Many people die stealing electricity which also results into a huge loss for the family of victim as some actions are taken even if a person is caught while stealing.”

In Maharashtra state, there are 6 politicians assigned to help the distribution company in the matters related to theft. Aurangabad comes under the jurisdiction of Jalna’s Politician. If someone is accused of stealing the electricity, the politician as well as the employees of the distribution company can investigate the case and give the conclusion. FIR is lodged against the accused and if found guilty, a fine is charged and in some cases, sentenced to jail.

According to RTI, a consumer can ask questions regarding the bill charged to him and if he doubts the service then he can file a complaint to Sub Division Officer of the respective area as for Aurangabad, Central Centre for Consumer Service (Kendriya Grahak Suvidhaya Kendra) is authorized. Later on, the complaint is looked after and resolved. One can also apply for checking of meter if one thinks that the meter is manipulated. You can file a complain in Section/Unit office of the respective area and have to pay the fees amounting Rs.150/- for which you will get a receipt and finally the check will be done in front of the consumer. As for details, you will receive it within a month of check.

If the distribution company is suspicious for the theft of electricity in a specific area then IT system checks for the distribution transformer of that respective area. The amount of outgoing energy and incoming energy is calculated and the difference is checked. If the difference varies drastically then a special team of the concerned office is sent into the area and a camp is set up. During the camp, electricity meter of each and every house which comes under the transformer is checked upon. Then the list of accused people is given out, the bill amounting the difference is charged to the accused and are given time span of 48 hours to pay or else FIR is lodged against the accused and an investigation is conducted. Later, the court takes control over the issue. If the accused is found guilty then the meter is seized along with other equipments if any.

Now-a-days, cases from almost each and every field are filed under the theft of electricity may it be household, commercial, farms etc. Squad named ‘Mahavitran’ supports the govt. offices to control and handle the sensitive situations if any arises. As per the officials, no case of corruption has been filed yet from the office of MSEDCL (Mill Corner). On the other hand, 1 official was arrested in the charge of corruption from the department of Mondha in the last month. Yet many cases are to be resolved and still the thefts of electricity prevails.

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