Enforcement raids and legal action against consumers who use electricity without a connection seem to have paid off for power distribution company BYPL. The company claims it has been approached by consumers who are now willing to pay for what they consume.

A company spokesperson said owners of several factories which were hitherto “stealing electricity” in East Delhi's Krishna Nagar area have now come forward to take legal connections. “These illegal factories are stealing electricity to the tune of 5000 KW per month, causing a loss of Rs.2 crore per month to BYPL,” he said.

Referring to factories that are not paying for their electricity use, the company claims that as per its assessment, the “illegal jeans factories in Krishna Nagar area are estimated to do business of around Rs.300 crore per year. Each of the jeans factories has washing and dyeing machines using 3-5kw power, each factory has steam press using about 8 KW power and each factory has thread dyeing machine using 7.50 KW.” Enforcement raids were undertaken by BYPL along with Delhi Police personnel against power theft in East and Central Delhi to nab culprits.

“BYPL's crackdown against power theft in the last 15 days in East and Central Delhi has unearthed power theft of a whopping 3789 KW. The company has also levied penalties of over Rs 4.50 crore against them. If these penalties are not paid within a stipulated period of time, cases will be filed in the Special Court of Electricity, where the accused, besides being levied stiff penalties, can also get jail terms up to five years,” said the spokesperson.

The company's enforcement teams have taken action against several illegal jeans factories.