Come elections and electricity theft goes up. The PSPCL has miserably failed to check feeder with high losses, with a significant rise in their number.
The power theft figure has crossed the ₹1,500 crore mark a year.
There has been an increase of more than 56 per cent in the number of feeders where losses are more than 50 per cent in a span of nine months.
Against 230 feeders having losses more than 50 per cent by the end of December 2020, the number of such feeders has swelled to 406 having losses more than 50 per cent by end of September 2021, read the data released by the power regulator in the tariff order.
There are 168 feeders in the border zone which have more than 50 per cent losses, comprising 14 feeders with more than 90 per cent losses and 27 feeders with losses in range of 80 to 90 per cent.
In west zone there are 181 feeders with more than 50 per cent losses, comprising 24 feeders’ loss in the range of 80 to 90 per cent.
Overall there are 3,308 feeders in Punjab where line losses exceed 15 per cent.
There are 12 divisions in seven circles of Punjab where losses are more than 25 percent. Last year, the losses in these divisions increased by more than 10 per cent . The PSPCL claim that most of the divisions are in the border belt of
the state. The worst-affected is Tarn Taran, followed by suburban Amritsar circle.
“Though the political set-up forced engineers not to check any power theft, farmers upped their ante. During the election year, we remain a mute spectator as there were instructions from ministers and MLAs not to check theft,” said a power engineer.
All-India power engineer association spokesperson Vinod Kumar Gupta said that the losses can be easily brought down to 10 per cent if the political sponsorship of theft of power is withdrawn by the AAP government.
The PSPCL has not been able to control the situation, mainly due to political interference, especially in the border belt of Amritsar, Ferozepur and Tarn Taran districts where it seems that this has become a way of life, said Gupta.
Meanwhile, the PSERC has asked the PSPCL to check power theft and bring down the losses below 14 per cent.