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KSEB not gaining from power theft detections

Staff Reporter

Estimated at Rs. 29.68 crores this financial year

KOLLAM: Even as Inspector General of Police (Vigilance and Security) of the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) Rishi Raj Singh had made a series of detections on power theft, the penalty imposed in this connection is not being realised by the board.

Sources attached to the KSEB told The Hindu that during the present financial year, power theft worth Rs.29.68 crores had been detected so far. But the KSEB had realised only Rs.3.98 crores from that amount. Interestingly, reconnection has been provided to most of the consumers caught for power theft.

The sources alleged that Mr. Singh's efforts were being exploited by a section of the KSEB top brass and politicians to mint hush money. Recently, power theft of Rs.4.50 crores was detected from a private company in Palakkad following which supply to the company was disconnected.

But even without paying up a single rupee from the penal amount, power supply had been restored to the company. The sources alleged that the company enjoys supply from ``dedicated line,'' which means supply directly from the sub-station.

The sources alleged that a section of the KSEB officers had reached ``accord'' with the company in question and there was political interest behind it. This is the fate of most of the power theft detection cases, the sources said.

As per rules, assessment, in the event of power theft detection, is made on the basis of the connected load installed for a period of six months.

On detection supply is disconnected. Power supply will be resumed to the consumer in question only after payment of 30 per cent of the penalty imposed. Even in such cases of resumption, there is lethargy afterwards on realising the remaining amount. The sources attribute this to ``adjustments.''

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