Commercial establishments were the major offenders: official

The Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (TANGEDCO), Madurai Division, has earned Rs. 1.79 crore by detecting 536 cases of power theft between April 2013 and March 2014.

Madurai Division comprises Madurai, Theni, Dindigul, Udumalpet, Virudhunagar, Sivaganga, Ramanathapuram, Tirunelveli, Tuticorin and Kanyakumari, besides Madurai Metro.

“Commercial establishments were the major offenders and 286 cases of power theft were detected among them. The most common form of theft was misuse of domestic service connections for commercial establishments,” K. Ravichandran, Executive Engineer of TANGEDCO, Enforcement and Vigilance Cell, told The Hindu on Monday.

As many as 92 cases of power theft were detected among domestic consumers and 62 among agriculturalists, he added.

The modus operandi of domestic consumers and farmers included tampering with meters, illegal restoration of service connections and unauthorised supply of electricity by direct hook or bypassing meters, officials said. A few agriculturalists had used high horsepower motors than what they were authorised, they added. Twenty eight cases of power theft were slapped on Low Tension (LT) power industries.

“Last year, there were no incidents of power theft in High Tension industries. The 28 LT power industries had indulged in unauthorised use of energy. Five cases were also detected in LT Current Transformer misuse,” Mr. Ravichandran said.

According to officials, Dindigul sub-division, which also includes Udumalpet, stood first among other sub-divisions with 170 cases. Madurai sub-division, which includes Madurai Metro and Theni district, was ranked second with 150 cases.

Tirunelveli, Tuticorin and Kanyakumari districts had 115 cases of power theft, whereas Virudhunagar sub-division, comprising Sivaganga and Ramanathapuram districts, recorded 101 cases.

The enforcement and vigilance cell of TANGEDCO has four regular squads and eleven ex-servicemen squads to detect power theft. “Besides the squads, Assistant Executive Engineers in each sub-division also conduct inspections to detect theft cases,” Mr. Ravichandran added.

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