Lesco to sell properties to recover unpaid power dues from defaulters

By Our Correspondent
September 26, 2023

LAHORE: The Lahore Electric Supply Company has commenced the process of auctioning properties owned by defaulters in an effort to recover outstanding receivables.

In its ongoing operation against long-standing defaulters, with the support of the Punjab government, Lesco has initiated the auction of two properties to collect overdue amounts from a defaulter. According to a spokesperson for the power utility, the properties belonging to PPP leader Azizur Rehman Chan are being auctioned to recover Rs61 crore and Rs26 million in unpaid dues.Lesco officials, accompanied by a district government team, conducted visits to Azizur Rehman Chan’s factories, including the defaulter Rehman Steel Mill, which owes Rs25 crore and 94 lakhs in unpaid power dues, and Siddique Iron Industry, which has yet to pay Rs35 crore and 31 lakhs to Lesco. Despite shutting down both mills, the outstanding dues to Lesco remained unpaid. Furthermore, Chan managed to establish another business named Iqra Cold Storage after obtaining a power connection illegally. Lesco has disconnected the electricity supply to Iqra Cold Storage and has decided to auction the property to recover the dues from the accused.

Regarding anti-power theft efforts, Lesco reported that on the 19th day of its operation, it arrested 14 electricity thieves with police assistance and identified pilferage on 359 connections across all their work areas. The company’s spokesperson confirmed that it has submitted FIR applications against 358 electricity thieves to the respective police stations, with 178 FIRs already registered and 14 accused individuals apprehended.Among the detected pilferage cases, one was related to agriculture, 20 were commercial, and 338 were domestic connections, all of which have had their supplies disconnected.

The electricity pilferers have also been charged a total of 570,400 detection units, amounting to Rs28.804 million in penalties.Providing further details, the spokesperson noted that they charged 6,482 detection units amounting to Rs300,000 to a domestic connection on Arcade Road in the Ichhra area, 5,500 detection units worth Rs287,369 to a domestic customer engaged in electricity theft at Natha Building in the New Shad Bagh area, 4,365 units valued at Rs256,720 to a pilferer in the Rasoolpura area, 3,800 detection units costing Rs256,000 to another electricity thief in the Islamia Colony, and 4,273 detection units of Rs250,000 were charged to a domestic connection in the Ichhra area.

The spokesperson highlighted that during 19 days of anti-power theft operations, Lesco identified pilferage on a total of 8,588 connections within its jurisdiction. The company has submitted FIR applications against 7,935 electricity pilferers, resulting in 6,604 FIRs being registered and 550 accused individuals apprehended. In total, electricity pilferers owe an accumulated bill of Rs802.462 million against 18,216,296 detection units.