Rampant cases of power theft have left authorities worried. According to officials of Telangana State Southern Power Distribution Company Limited (TSSPDCL), at least 100 cases have been registered every month in the last year.
Officials say this menace is seen more in the southern circle and parts of the central circle. Estimates suggest that energy losses here account for roughly 45% of total energy consumed. Altogether, the stolen power amounts to 900 million units every year.
Making matters worse, officials from the discom said a few officials are hand in glove with the thieves. “We have a lab and centre where the meter seals are developed and attached. Every month, we come up with 10,000 such seals. There are some people who remove these seals and sell them to outsiders. Apart from this, there are some people who tamper with the meters as well,” said J Srinivas Reddy, director (operations), TSSPDCL.
He also said that the miscreants attach diodes and resistors to their meters, ensuring that they get a lower reading. “For domestic use, there is a prescribed load that is given to these people. But when they attach resistors or diodes to their meters, they use up more energy but the meter does not register the same,” he added.
Direct tapping, bypassing the meter and tampering are the most common methods of stealing electricity, for which criminal cases can be booked under section 135 of the Indian Electricity Act.
Another problem officials pointed out was that many consumers insist on fixing meters indoors, making it difficult for billing officers to monitor pilferage. Roughly 30% of the city’s population has meters inside homes, which is against rules. Matt Wieters Jersey