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Power thefts in State major cause of concern

By R Dutta Choudhury

GUWAHATI, May 26 � At a time when the Assam Power Distribution Company Limited (APDCL) is trying to go for a power tariff hike, power thefts, even by prominent companies, remained a major cause of concern. Though the Vigilance Cell of the APDCL detects power theft cases from time to time and imposes fines on the offenders, those can be termed as tip of the iceberg.

The vigilance cell of the APDCL needs to be strengthened to keep a close watch on all the power consumers. Altogether 12 special police stations have been set up to detect power theft and each station has only seven personnel, which is not at all adequate to cover the entire State.

Moreover, the police personnel posted in the stations are not given weapons and very often they have to come under attack from the offenders.

From time to time, the personnel of the special police stations have to take help from the district police forces whenever they go for raids, but there is need for increasing the number of such special police stations to check power theft.

Meanwhile, talking to The Assam Tribune, the Chief Vigilance Officer of the APDCL, NI Hussain, a former Inspector General of Assam Police, said that a decision has been taken to increase vigil on the high value customers to check power theft. He said that the decision was taken after detection of a major power theft by a tea estate.

Hussain said that recently, the vigilance cell of the APDCL detected a major power theft case by Bhutia Chang Tea Estate owned by McLeod Russell company located near the Bhutan border in Udalguri district where the garden management bypassed the transformer to draw power. A case has been registered in the Paneri police station and the manager Bikon Deka is absconding. A fine of Rs 1.76 crore has been imposed on the garden.

The CVO of the APDCL said that the garden management was doing the mischief for at least the last couple of years and though the bill for a garden of such size normally comes to around Rs 8 lakh a month, that particular garden was paying only around Rs 2 lakh. Interestingly, the officers of the APDCL could not detect the theft for the last couple of years and a probe against the officers of the company posted in the area has also been launched.

Hussain admitted that normally the sick gardens resort to such tactics and for the first time, such mischief by a major tea company has come to light and from now on, a close watch would be maintained on all the high value customers.

The vigilance cell also detected another major case of power theft by Poddar Rubber in Guwahati city and a fine of Rs 8 lakh was imposed on the company. A case has also been registered against the owners of the company.

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Power thefts in State major cause of concern

GUWAHATI, May 26 � At a time when the Assam Power Distribution Company Limited (APDCL) is trying to go for a power tariff hike, power thefts, even by prominent companies, remained a major cause of concern. Though the Vigilance Cell of the APDCL detects power theft cases from time to time and imposes fines on the offenders, those can be termed as tip of the iceberg.

The vigilance cell of the APDCL needs to be strengthened to keep a close watch on all the power consumers. Altogether 12 special police stations have been set up to detect power theft and each station has only seven personnel, which is not at all adequate to cover the entire State.

Moreover, the police personnel posted in the stations are not given weapons and very often they have to come under attack from the offenders.

From time to time, the personnel of the special police stations have to take help from the district police forces whenever they go for raids, but there is need for increasing the number of such special police stations to check power theft.

Meanwhile, talking to The Assam Tribune, the Chief Vigilance Officer of the APDCL, NI Hussain, a former Inspector General of Assam Police, said that a decision has been taken to increase vigil on the high value customers to check power theft. He said that the decision was taken after detection of a major power theft by a tea estate.

Hussain said that recently, the vigilance cell of the APDCL detected a major power theft case by Bhutia Chang Tea Estate owned by McLeod Russell company located near the Bhutan border in Udalguri district where the garden management bypassed the transformer to draw power. A case has been registered in the Paneri police station and the manager Bikon Deka is absconding. A fine of Rs 1.76 crore has been imposed on the garden.

The CVO of the APDCL said that the garden management was doing the mischief for at least the last couple of years and though the bill for a garden of such size normally comes to around Rs 8 lakh a month, that particular garden was paying only around Rs 2 lakh. Interestingly, the officers of the APDCL could not detect the theft for the last couple of years and a probe against the officers of the company posted in the area has also been launched.

Hussain admitted that normally the sick gardens resort to such tactics and for the first time, such mischief by a major tea company has come to light and from now on, a close watch would be maintained on all the high value customers.

The vigilance cell also detected another major case of power theft by Poddar Rubber in Guwahati city and a fine of Rs 8 lakh was imposed on the company. A case has also been registered against the owners of the company.

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