The Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (Tangedco) levied Rs. 7.5 lakh penalty on three brick kiln units here last month for using power from agricultural connections to pump water for the units. In another instance on Tuesday, a domestic connection used for commercial purpose was detected here.

Though there are such instances, misuse of electricity connection has come down during the last couple of years in the region, says a senior official of the Tangedco here. Most of the cases are because of lack of awareness among consumers on the consequences of using the electricity supply given to a specific category of consumer for other purposes.

Most of the misuse is in the form of use of domestic connection for construction purpose, industrial supply for commercial and institutional connection for domestic.

The Tangedco has anti-power theft squad and also ex-servicemen teams to conduct raids and inspections regularly.

Division and circle-level mass raids are conducted to detect misuse or theft of power.

Another factor that helps detect misuse of power is the information from consumers. Even the senior officials receive two or three phone calls a month from consumers on misuse of the supply. This has helped the officials to inspect and bring down the number of thefts and misuse.

Theft of power has reduced drastically and the revenue augmentation from misuse of power is just 0.5 per cent to one per cent of the total revenue here, the official adds.

More than 90 per cent of the misuse is because of lack of awareness. If the consumers know about the consequences, they will not use the agricultural or domestic supply for other purposes, the official adds.