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Home News Power Sector News Orissa sets up energy police stations to curb pilferage

Orissa sets up energy police stations to curb pilferage

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energy minister Atanu SabyasachiOrissa State Government has decided to open energy police stations in all the districts to bring to book persons, companies and industries who have been pilfering electricity. "The Central Electricity Supply Utility (CESU) is losing about Rs 200 crore each year due to pilferage. The energy police stations will take action against persons and industries illegally tapping power," energy minister Atanu Sabyasachi said. "There will be adequate staff to deal with pilferage of power," he added.

The minister inaugurated an energy police station at Kendrapada. This was the fourth such police station in the state after the ones in Khurdha, Nayagarh and Cuttack. Apart from these four districts, CESU supplies power to Jajpur, Jagatsinghpur, Dhenkanal, Angul and Puri.

The energy department has launched a publicity campaign against pilferage, warning consumers that stealing power will lead to fines and imprisonment. "The campaign had the desired impact with many people coming forward to regularise their power connections," Sabyasachi said.

Stringent penalties to curb power thefts came into force as per the Electricity Act, 2003. "The Act empowers CESU officials to enter, inspect, break open and search any premises in which it has reason to believe that energy has been illegally consumed. The power utility can remove all devices, instruments, wires and facilitators or articles which have been used for unauthorized connections. It can also examine or seize any book of account," the minister said. "Orissa along with Andhra, West Bengal, Gujarat and Karnataka have adopted tough legislations to drastically curb power thefts," he added.

Sabyasachi said the evil of power thefts in the state has become widespread. The increasing number of thefts has become a matter of serious concern for the energy department and the state government. "In order to eradicate the evil, it was considered necessary to provide deterrent punishment for offences relating to thefts of power," he said.

Source - Times of India

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