Stealing electricity appears no longer an attractive option for potential offenders, thanks largely to threats of heavy penalties and possible criminal proceedings looming large over the lawbreakers since June 2007.

Instances of power theft, detected by the Anti-Power Theft Squads, across Kerala came down to 336 during 20011-12.

The number of thefts was 388 during 2010-11 and 369 during the previous financial year.

On the other hand, the number of power irregularities detected has gone up between 2009-10 and 2011-12. A total of 2,474 cases of irregularities were detected during 2009-10.

The number was 2,592 during 2010-11 and 2,831 during the last financial year.

There has also been a steep drop in the amount collected as fine from power thieves and other offenders over the last three financial years.

The amount collected during 2009-10 was Rs.30.63 crore. During the following year it was Rs.15.56 crore and Rs.17.38 crore during 2011-12.

Chief Vigilance Officer N. Ramachandran, who heads the Anti-Power Theft Squad, says “though severe penalties have created a panic-like situation among consumers in the lower segment, the others still attempt to steal power or commit irregularities.”

He pointed out that fines to the tune of Rs.3.5 crore had already been imposed on various offenders this month while the total fines imposed last month was only around Rs.1.5 crore.

The Anti-Power Theft Squad can be contacted on: 0471-2444745.