Technology has come in handy to cut losses of Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) due to electricity pilferage after it decided to install radio frequency meters (RFM) in the border zone.
PSPCL chief engineer (border range) Jagjeet Singh Suchu said that they had tied up with a private firm for the installation of RFMs in border areas at the cost of around Rs 20 crore.
He added that the smart meters would be installed at a height of nearly 33 feet on specially-designed pillars having low tension wires to make them out of the reach of those who pilfer electricity.
There are many colonies or a cluster of houses in some residential areas being fed with illegal power connections using 'kundi' (hook) for running appliances, including ACs and heaters round the clock. Currently, the pilferers uses high-end magnets to jam the meters or electronic circuits to remotely control power meters.
The power company is hopeful of checking pilferage with the use of combination of software, hardware and mechanical parts. "As physical accessibility of RFMs and low tension wires will be out of reach, we believe that we will be able to cut losses due to power theft," Suchu said, adding that the electricity reading would be obtained with help of remotely operated equipment using specially designed software and power bills would be delivered at the consumer's doorsteps. PSPCL faces nearly 25% losses, including nearly 10% from power theft.
Suchu added that RFMs would be installed in a phased manner. "After the success of first phase, we will extend it in the entire border zone comprising Tarn Taran, Amritsar, Gurdaspur and Pathankot districts," he said.