‘We’ve 101 ways to catch power theft’

Srinagar, Jan 14: In the ongoing battle against rampant electricity theft, officials from the Kashmir Power Distribution Corporation Limited (KPDCL) are employing innovative measures to outsmart those attempting to pilfer power.

As they embark on their duty to apprehend power thieves, a KPDCL official, part of the inspection squad, boldly asserts, “They have 100 ways to indulge in power theft, we have 101 ways to catch these power thieves.”

The situation has escalated to the point where even advanced smart meters, designed to enhance efficiency and accuracy, are being tampered with or bypassed in some locations for illicit power consumption.

The gravity of the issue came to light through a video shared by KPDCL on its social media platform.

The footage reveals the Central Inspection Squad in action as they unveil a confiscated smart meter in the presence of a consumer from Arafat Lane, SD Chanapora.

The video captures the meticulous inspection process, with a focus on the printed circuit board (PCB), confirming deliberate tampering with the smart meter.

“The intent behind the manipulation is to slow down the meter’s functionality, allowing power theft to go undetected,” an official said.

On social media platform X, the KPDCL expressed frustration with some consumers who, despite affording various luxuries such as mobile and fibre bills, petrol purchases, and Netflix packages, go to great lengths to avoid settling their energy dues.

“Some consumers living in big houses will pay their mobile & fibre bills, buy petrol from Gas Stations & book Netflix packages, but go to any extent to deny us energy dues. WHY! #KPDCL Team ED IV, Srinagar in late-night action,” KPDCL posted on X

The KPDCL team ED IV in Srinagar shared a video depicting a late-night operation where officials were removing an underground cable utilised for power pilferage.

In the Ganderbal district, a consumer ingeniously connected his home to a stadium power junction, employing a wire to divert electricity for unauthorised use.

On January 13, the Kashmir Power Distribution Corporation Limited (KPDCL) conducted a total of 1140 inspections as part of its relentless efforts to curb electricity theft and unauthorised connections.

During the proactive drive, 869 disconnections were successfully implemented, sending a strong message against power pilferage.

Additionally, 64 connections were regularised to bring them in compliance with legal and safety standards.

The KPDCL reiterated the government’s ban on Nichrome Coil-based heating gadgets like heaters and boilers and warned against their usage.

Highlighting the dangers involved in the illegal tapping of electricity, officials stressed the potential fatality associated with approaching Distribution Transformers for such activities.

The KPDCL emphasised that risking lives to save a few bucks was not worth the consequences.

It actively shares videos on social media, with one from Chanapora going viral, showcasing a consumer’s underground wiring for power theft.

KPDCL dubbed their team as “KPDCL warriors”, engaging in cold-weather operations to expose those indifferent to the needs of patients, students, and individuals engaged in daily activities.

Addressing the priorities in power distribution, KPDCL emphasised the importance of electricity for crucial needs like oxygen concentrators and educational purposes over less essential appliances like crude heaters and water boilers.

During inspections, instances were discovered where consumers paying lower monthly bills were consuming significantly higher amounts of electricity.

In the broader context, Kashmir has a significant proportion of non-metered consumers, comprising 65 percent of the total 11 lakh power connections registered with KPDCL.

The KPDCL aims to incentivise areas with low AT&C losses to ensure round-the-clock power supply as part of their strategy to improve the overall power situation in Kashmir.

So far 33 feeders have already been rewarded with round-the-clock power supply for low AT&C losses.


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