• India Power to launch drive against power thieves in Gaya

    Now that the festive season is over, India Power, the private company holding franchise for power distribution in Gaya town, Bodh Gaya and Manpur is all set to launch a drive against power thieves.

    A few days back, the company was pulled up by Gaya district magistrate Kumar Ravi for its failure to lodge FIR against the wrongdoers. In October, just one FIR was lodged by the company. Company DGM Rakesh Ranjan said it was due to the festive season that we did not take any initiative. Now post Chhath, the company will launch a drive against power theft, said Ranjan.

    As per an estimate, nearly 60% of the available power was being stolen/consumed free. According to India Power sources, as against the supply of 60 million units a month, the company was getting a revenue for only 22 million units. The failure of the power company to lodge cases against power thieves also resulted in revenue loss to the state, as a part of the penalty imposed by courts goes to the state coffer via South Bihar Power Distribution Company Ltd.

    During the review, besides directing India Power to lodge criminal case against power thieves, the DM also expressed concern over complaints of billing anomalies, particularly the practice of estimated billing. Power users of the town have been demanding billing on the basis of actual power consumption and not estimated power consumption.

    Asked about the practice of estimated billing, India Power deputy general manager Rakesh Ranjan said the company always tries to present bill on the basis of actual consumption and in the urban area about 80% billing is done on the basis of actual consumption.

    In 20% cases, estimated bills were presented as photo reading of the meters was problematic in many cases on account of several factors, including wrong address of consumers and unavailability of consumers at the time of meter reading.

    Conceding that power theft was a serious impediment in the execution of company’s programmes, Ranjan said the continuance of 40,000 old meters and 20,000 unmetered power users was responsible for revenue loss to the company.

    Besides direct power theft, old meters also cause huge loss to the power company. The process of replacement of old meters with electronic ones is still on. In several cases, consumers resist the installation of electronic meters, said the power company official.

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