Mumbai: Buy unlimited electricity for just Rs 200 from mafia

Tuesday, 08 August 2017 13:19 Harikumar B

Power TheftEven as 2.9 million people in the city are paying through their noses each month for limited units of power, Mumbai's electricity mafia is distributing unlimited power supply for as less as Rs 200. The gross violation came to light after the vigilance cell of Reliance Energy upped its ante against consumers of illegal electricity. The power supplying company has already filed 120 FIRs with the police under Section 135 of Electricity Act 2003 in the matter.

Speaking to mid-day, a Reliance Energy spokesperson, said, "Local goons steal electricity and force residents to take illegal electricity connections from them. Despite having a legal electric meter from the utility, a number of slum customers are using direct supply pilfered from the Reliance Energy distribution network across certain slum pockets in the eastern and western suburbs."

Reliance Energy's vigilance team recently busted a high-tech power theft case in Kandivli. According to sources at the company, electricity was being stolen after the power meter was disabled with the help of a remote control device, the circuit of which was detected on the meter printed circuit board.

A resident from Govandi, said that the illegal electricity distributors in the area charge anywhere between R200 to R1,000 each month in bills for this connection. "During festivals the demand for electricity is high and hence, slum dwellers use illegal power to reduce their bills," the resident said.

According to the spokesperson, areas like Shivaji Nagar, Cheetah Camp, Samsuddin Nagar, Shivneri-Mankhurd, Chikuwadi-Jai Hind Nagar and Qureshi Nagar together contribute to nearly half of the company's commercial losses in distribution.

Sources said that power is not just stolen for household purposes, small and medium industries also operate with this stolen power.

In order to keep a check on power theft, Reliance Energy has installed theft-proof pillars specific locations. "We have been able to book more offenders with police support. Reliance Energy has removed 44 tonnes of wires used for power thefts, but often the mob gets violent during surprise raids by our vigilance teams. We are planning for more raids in the future," the spokesperson added.