Massive crackdown launched to combat power theft

ISLAMABAD (APP): A massive crackdown has been launched by the Caretaker Government to combat the alarming surge in power theft and to take stern actions against the culprits involved.
On the directives of the government, the Islamabad Electric Supply Company (IESCO) has expedited the drive against power pilferage and caught 105 meters and imposed fine of Rs 7.567 million for stealing electricity in various areas of the company in the current month.
IESCO chief Dr Muhammad Amjad said that during the current crackdown against electricity thieves, the field formations checked 5,743 meters and found 105 meters of the electricity consumers involved in power theft through various means.
As many as 73 meters were found tampered while 22 were getting direct power supply, he said and added that a fine of Rs 7.567 million was imposed on the power pilferers while charging over 177,000 units.
He said on the directives of the Federal Minister for Energy, the IESCO launched the crackdown against electricity thieves and their facilitators in all circles including Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Attock, Jhelum and Chakwal circles.
All operation circles, including In-charge Executives and SDOs, were rigorously inspecting industrial, commercial, domestic and other tariff categories within their respective areas, the IESCO chief said. He said that the local administration and police were also assisting the Company to carry out the operations. He expressed confidence in the success of this government-led campaign, with the full dedication of officers and staff.
He emphasized that electricity theft put extra burden on the public and government institutions adding that both the agencies and the public needed to work together to combat this menace.
Dr. Khan appealed to the consumers to demonstrate their national and moral responsibility by reporting electricity theft and facilitators to the Anti-Power Theft focal person at mobile number 03195991304 or to the Complaint and Monitoring Cell at numbers 0519252933.
Meanwhile, the Lahore Electric Supply Company (LESCO) has taken strict action against eight officers; five Executive Engineers (XENs), two Sub-Divisional Officers (SDOs) and a Line Superintendent (LS) for conniving in electricity theft and giving new power connection to a dead defaulter, the LESCO spokesman disclosed.
He said LESCO Director (Customer Services) Rai Mohammad Asghar took action against those officers after they were proved guilty in their respective departmental inquiries.
Sharing the details, the spokesman said that Mehmood Alam Qureshi, Sub-Divisional Officer (SDO) of Qila Sattar Shah area has been removed from service for conniving in the electricity theft, and on the similar charges, an Executive Engineer (XEN) of Sheikhupura Rashid Soomro will not be considered for promotion in the next grade for two years and he will stick in Grade-18 during this period.
Director (Customer Services) Rai Muhammad Asghar also issued orders for stopping annual increment of XEN Manawala area Muhammad Rizwan for one year, as he was found involved in facilitating the electricity thieves.
After conducting a detailed inquiry, the Company also took departmental action against the following officers on the charge of giving new electricity connection to a dead defaulter, who owed more than Rs 30 million dues to LESCO, in the area of Kot Abdul Maalik.
Mohsin Ali of Gulshan Ravi (DDT Northern Circle) has been demoted from Executive Engineer of Grade-18 to an SDO of Grade-17; Muzamil Hussain, XEN of Kot Abdul Maalik area, will not be promoted for two years and he has been made permanent at Grade-18 for one year; the annual increment of XEN (M&T) Najamul Hasan has been stopped for one year; promotion of Ali Abbas, SDO Kot Abdul Maalik, has been stopped for two years and he has been made permanent at Grade-17 for one year; and Line Superintendent-1 (LS-1) Mirza Aqeel Baig, who was serving as Head Draftsman in Northern Circle, has been demoted to Line Superintendent-2 (LS-2) and made permanent as Line Superintendent for one year, the spokesman said.
Director (Customer Service) Rai Muhammad Asghar said that the LESCO was committed for observing zero tolerance policy on facilitation of power theft and the officer/official or field staff proved guilty of having connivance with electricity thieves would not be spared, adding that operation against electricity thieves would continue with full swing.
The Faisalabad Electric Supply Company (FESCO) has also nabbed 87 people on the charge of power pilferage in different parts of its region during past 24 hours.
FESCO spokesman Tahir Sheikh said that Company’s anti-theft teams conducted surprise checking of electricity supply meters in eight districts of the region and detected electricity theft at 87 points. The power pilferers were stealing electricity through various modes. Therefore, the FESCO teams removed their electricity supply meters and confiscated their entire material in this regard.
The FESCO also imposed Rs.13 million as fine on more than 310,000 detection units. Separate cases were also got registered against the power pilferers while further action against them was under progress, he said.
The Peshawar Electricity Supply Company (PESCO) has so far removed over 500 direct hooks during ongoing operations against electricity pilferers in the province.
“More than 500 direct hooks have been removed so far while fines for more than 7 million have been charged against electricity theft,” spokesman PESCO told APP. As per the government’s directives, he said the anti-electricity theft operations continued in the province on war footings and more than 250 requests for lodging FIR have been submitted.
Meanwhile, 10 superintendent engineers of PESCO were assigned the duties of focal persons with a direction to make contact with provincial task force and divisional commissioners to curb electricity theft and provide relief to all those consumers who pay electricity bills.
The Provincial Task Force with an assistance of police, district administration and other relevant departments were directed to remove direct electricity hooks and make recovery from defaulters on the priority basis.
In this regard, the deputy commissioners would lead the task force at their respective districts and report regarding the removal of direct hooks and recovery of outstanding dues would be submitted to the caretaker Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on daily basis.
The Hyderabad Electric Supply Company (HESCO) has launched a crackdown against power theft in the HESCO region.
Large-scale crackdown against electricity thieves was continued on in HESCO region on Sunday. According to spokesperson, raids were conducted in several areas of region including Hyderabad, Tatta, Umarkot, Badin, Mirpur Khas, Khipro, Dgri, Nawab Shah, Tando Allahyar, Sakrand, Tando Jam, Chamnbar, Kotri, Jamshoro, Nooriabad, Sehwan, Bhan Syedabad, Sanghar, Qazi Ahmad, Daulatpur, Saeedabad, Tando Adam, Shahdadpur, Matiari, and other areas, witnessed the disconnection of 4,891 illegal connections.
Furthermore, 27 transformers were removed and 3 remote control devices used for electricity theft were seized. These devices were being used for illicit power consumption. In addition to these actions, a recovery of more than 35.6 million rupees was also made from defaulters and the letters were submitted to the respective police stations for the registration of FIRs against 167 individuals.
The crackdown against electricity thieves would continue to eliminate electricity theft while the campaign has been intensified for the 100 percent recovery of 169 billion dues.
The Caretaker Sindh government has also launched a crackdown against electricity theft across the province. The provincial government has formed a task force under the chairmanship of Sindh Home Secretary for anti-theft electricity campaign.
The provincial Secretary of Energy, representative of Power Division, Government of Pakistan, Additional IG Police Sindh, Commissioner, DIG (concerned regions), CEO of HESCO/SEPCO and any other co-opted member to be nominated by the convener, will be among the members of the task force.
The task force would be authorized to devise a strategy and an effective mechanism for focused and sustainable campaign/initiative throughout the province against electricity theft by targeting high-loss commercial, agriculture, industrial and domestic connections and non-recovery from defaulters.
The task force would also monitor, supervise and coordinate the operation/initiative undertaken by the divisional/district enforcement committee (DEC).
Meanwhile, the Police registered cases against 731 power pilferers across the district including 229 in Burewala Circle from January to September 10.
The police department has also accelerated operations during the ongoing crackdown against power pilferers across the country. More than 40 pending cases of electricity theft have also been registered in seven different police stations of Burewala Circle.
On the special directives of Punjab Government, the district administration of Rawalpindi took a solid step on Sunday to combat electricity theft in the region.
The District Enforcement Committee has been established with Assistant Commissioner Headquarters, Waheed Sadiq as its focal person.
The Committee would include members from the local police force and the district administration. A Control Room has been set up at the Rawalpindi Civil Defense Office. Citizens can now report about the electricity theft by calling on 051-9292963.
The government has appealed to the public to cooperate in this effort to curb electricity theft. This approach signifies a strong commitment to ensuring a fair and transparent distribution of electricity resources in Rawalpindi.