Mumbai

66% spike in power theft: Reliance

Reliance Energy has filed 200 FIRs at police stations all over Mumbai for power theft in the financial year 2017-18 — a 66% increase over the previous year.

According to Reliance officials, 2017-18 was significant because Shivaji Nagar police station invoked the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act for the first time in a power theft case in Chembur. In August 2017, a gang of serial offenders with 24 cases against them were booked under the law. In a case registered in July 2017 by Kandivali police, a remote control system was used to steal power worth ₹7.5 lakh.

DCP (Zone VI) Shahaji Umap said, “Power theft is high in our area, and we have been cracking down along with service providers. Charge sheets are filed as soon as possible so that the accused face punitive action.” Chembur, Shivaji Nagar and Mankhurd police stations, which fall in Mr. Umap’s zone, registered power theft cases in 2017-18.

A Reliance spokesperson said power demand in slums is not met due to overloading of the network due to power theft. “Ten lakh out of our 30 lakh customers reside in slums, and Reliance is unable to install new towers due to power constraints. making the crackdown on power theft essential.”

Most FIRs were registered in the Kurla-Mankhurd-Vikhroli stretch — 63 against 333 accused.

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This article is corrected for a factual error.

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Printable version | Mar 31, 2020 4:40:06 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/66-spike-in-power-theft-reliance/article24422868.ece

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