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Wednesday June 19, 2024

Power theft of 8m units detected,194 arrested

Federal Secretary for Power Rashid Langrial, in his tweet on Monday, said that 8 million units of power theft were detected

By Ameen Abbasi & Mehtab Haider
September 12, 2023
Police personnel stand guard in Peshawar. — AFP/File
Police personnel stand guard in Peshawar. — AFP/File

ISLAMABAD: The government is continuing a crackdown on power theft, eight million units of power theft detected, Rs352.4 million fine imposed on electricity thieves, and Rs27.25 million recovered from them so far.

However, at the Peshawar Electric Power Company (PESCO), which stands out as far as technical and financial losses are concerned, only 17 cases have been registered so far and only Rs2.225 million recovered.

Federal Secretary for Power Rashid Langrial, in his tweet on Monday, said that 8 million units of power theft were detected; 194 persons were arrested; and a fine of Rs352 million was imposed. Police are gearing up as well. LESCO and MEPCO are doing better than other DISCOs, he added.

In the Lahore Electric Supply Company (LESCO), the data shared by the federal secretary for power showed that 1,159 cases of theft were detected, out of which 715 cases were registered. The theft units stood at 3.7 million, equivalent to the amount of Rs161 million, out of which only Rs10.316 million were recovered.

In Multan Electric Power Company (MEPCO), 1,356 FIRs were registered, equivalent to an amount of Rs280.744 million, out of which the recovered amount stood at 21.5 million.

The IESCO, which is considered as the improved DISCO, only nine FIRs were registered. Meanwhile, the Multan Electric Power Company (MEPCO) conducted various raids on the fourth consecutive day against the electricity thieves on Monday.

Spokesperson Jamshed Niazi said that 229 consumers were traced involved in electricity theft in the south Punjab districts. He said a fine of Rs10.4 million was imposed for stealing 352,000 electricity units, the spokesperson said. He said the MEPCO subdivisions teams filed their complaints with the police to register cases against thieves caught in 11 districts. Out of the total complaints, cases were registered against 33 consumers, he added. He said 220 domestic, seven commercial and two farmers were caught for stealing electricity. Three electricity thieves were arrested on-the-spot during the ongoing operations on the instructions of the prime minister, he added.

In Multan circle, 45 consumers were fined Rs3,380,000 and a case was also registered. In Vehari circle, he added, 11 consumers were fined Rs887,000 while seven cases were registered against power thieves. In Dera Ghazi Khan circle, he continued, 58 consumers were fined Rs1,982,000 and six cases were registered on the complaints of MEPCO teams.

In Muzaffargarh circle, he added, 27 electricity thieves were fined Rs1,369,000 and seven cases were registered. In Bahawalpur circle, he added, 20 consumers had been fined Rs1,235,000 and three FIRs were also registered. In Rahimyar Khan circle, he told, 21 consumers were fined Rs3,324,000. In Bahawalnagar, he added, 13 electricity thieves were fined Rs645,000 and seven FIRs were registered. In Sahiwal circle, he added, Rs1947,000 fine was imposed on 34 consumers. The MEPCO teams conducted operations against electricity thieves in Alipur, Jatoi and Rajanpur and about 300 people took MEPCO teams hostage in the presence of police force in Basti Parhar of Rajanpur, he said. The MEPCO teams faced fierce resistance and officials narrowly escaped the murderous attack, he claimed. The MEPCO teams caught 70 people stealing electricity directly from heavy transmission lines by installing locks, he informed. The MEPCO teams also removed transformer and a loop system was caught in the meter of former Member National Assembly’s Manager Ghulam Shabbir Gopang in Jatoi, he revealed.

The MEPCO teams found the thieves were running ACs by installing a loop in the meter, he told. Former MNA’s focal person Nasrullah Khan Gopang was found involved in theft by installing direct wires in Jatoi, he added. The police also arrested an electricity thief from the spot, he disclosed. In Rajanpur, he added, electricity was being stolen from direct wires at the house of an MPA candidate Chaudhry Maqsood Akhtar’s brother, he revealed. Police had started legal action against electricity thieves in Jatoi, Alipur and Rajanpur, he concluded.

Also, FESCO imposed fine of Rs5.5 million on another 45 consumers involved in electricity theft.

These consumers were involved in theft of electricity by direct supply, punching holes in the meter body, shunt system, tempering of the meter body, and various other methods.

FESCO cut off connections of consumers involved in electricity theft and submitted applications for registration of cases in the police stations concerned.

According to Chief Executive FESCO Engineer Bashir Ahmad, so far 238 customers have been fined Rs25,767,000 for electricity theft in the region.

Meanwhile, the Faisalabad Development Authority (FDA) recovered Rs93.4 million in the ongoing campaign against defaulters during the last two months.

According to Director General FDA Muhammad Asif Chaudhry, during July-August 2023, Rs370 million was recovered against illegal development charges, Rs192 million in transfer fees, State Management-II recovered Rs13 million, Town Planning-I received dues of Rs20.58 million towards commercialisation, map fee, and fines.