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Strict disciplinary action, reshuffle in Lesco put masses in trouble

By Our Correspondent
September 12, 2023

LAHORE:Unprecedented disciplinary action against 'corrupt' Lesco employees and massive reshuffling of field staff has sparked a sense of resentment among them, leaving power consumers in a lurch.

There is complete breakdown of Lesco field formations following stern disciplinary action taken over power theft along with massive transfers and postings of staff. Field staff is not willing to resolve complaints regarding power suspensions and wrong billing.

Power supply to my area has been cut off for last four hours and local staff of power utility is not paying heeds to successive complaints. In fact, no one attending calls, said Ibrahim, a resident of Bhatti Gate sub division. We have been braving severe electricity crisis in Sant Nagar area in the heart of old city, as electricity supply being resumed for 10 to 15 minutes after every hour since 11am, he said and adding he was trying to lodge complaint but to no avail.

Another customer was wary of the customer service of Lesco saying electricity supply to his area has been suspended for the last ten hours. He said local staff could not initiate repair work as SDO of the area had been transferred. Only SDO can get the permit issued for rectifying power lines and new SDO has yet to assume office. Hence, power supply to the area cannot be restored.

Salman Khan was also upset over 24 hours outage hitting his home since Sunday evening. Despite lodging complaint and taking up issue at local level successively, I am unable to see Lesco team visiting the area, he lamented. To spent night with my family, I am left with no option but to shift to a relative’s home, he said dejectedly.

Similar is with the case of Adil of Samanabad. Power in my area has been cut off for last four hours. To utter shock, the entire staff is missing from Lesco's local office, he claimed. He castigated the insensitive staff of power utility who do not care about the people.

Meanwhile, in fifth day of anti-power theft campaign launched by the Lahore Electric Supply Company (Lesco), as many as 194 customers have been caught stealing electricity, according to the company’s spokesman.

He added that Lesco has also submitted applications for registration of FIRs against all the electricity thieves in the respective police stations, out of which 97 FIRs have been registered and 25 suspects arrested.

The Lesco raiding teams managed to detect one industrial, one agricultural, seven commercial and 185 domestic connections from where the respective customers were stealing electricity. The company, he said, also charged 528,700 units to electricity thieves caught on the fifth day in the form of detection bill amounting to Rs24.168 million after disconnecting all the connections. He said Lesco teams have found some important figures involved in electricity theft.

Following directives of Prime Minister and the Ministry of Energy (Power Division), he said, the Lesco CEO Engineer Shahid Haider has launched massive operations against electricity thieves. The CEO is resolute to eliminate the evil of electricity theft from the Lesco region.

The spokesman said that on fifth day of operation, Lesco charged 52,840 detection units of Rs2.959 million to M Younas (Chaanan Dyna Mill), 50,966 detection units of Rs2.854 million to Abdul Rauf having a commercial connection, 25,907 units of Rs569,954 to Naaki Chan M Bilal, 5,431 units worth Rs325,872 to Shabir Ahmad Liliani, 5,303 units of Rs265,150 to Kamran Madhulal, and 6270 units worth Rs229,000 to Asghar Ali (Suhana Service Station).

The spokesman mentioned that a total of 1,273 connections were detected as stealing electricity during five-day operation in Lesco region. Out of 1,272 FIR applications, 796 FIRs have so far been registered and 83 suspects arrested, he said, asserting that a total of 4,277,577 detection units worth Rs181.028 million have been charged to all the electricity thieves.

Lesco CEO said that grand operation against electricity theft would continue without discrimination, and the Lesco officers/officials and field staff conniving in the power theft would also be taken to task.

On the other hand, Raza Shah, son of a well-known political figure of Nankana Sahib and former chairman Mumtaz Hussain Shah, was found involved in stealing of electricity. Lesco spokesperson told media here Monday that the Lesco team spotted Raza Shah stealing electricity directly from the company’s transmission line.

On seeing the Lesco team, the accused opened fire and also threatened them of serious consequences. Sensing the gravity of the situation, the Lesco team called in the area police. The police arrested one of the accused persons on the spot and registered a case under various provisions including theft of electricity, interference in official work and hurling serious threats.

The spokesman said that Raza Shah has been charged 2,404 units of Rs155,203 in the detection bill, adding that indiscriminate action against power thieves would continue, and those misbehaved with Lesco staff would be dealt with iron hands.