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Crackdown On Defaulters, 14 Taken Into Custody

A lineman disconnecting an illegal connection. Image Credit: Sangai Photo.

IMPHAL, Jan 24: Invoking the provisions under Electricity Act, 2003 amended in 2007, officials of Electricity Department have started a drive against unauthorized and defaulting consumers from today.

Talking to media persons in connection with the drive at his office room this afternoon, Chief Engineer of Electricity Dept, Nandeibam Sarat informed that under the supervision of respective Executive Engineers, the drive has been started from today in some pocket areas of  Imphal Electrical Division (IED)-II, III and Imphal Maintenance Division (IMD).

The Chief Engineer said that on the first day today, places like Nagamapal, Lalambung Makhong, Uripok Khaidem Leikai and Keishampat Thiyam Leikai have been covered under IED-II, while Yaiskul Police Lane under IED-III. Under IMD, the drive was conducted at Khurai Sajor Leikai.

During the course of the drive, the power line of 89 defaulters including 27 under IED-II, 16 under IED-III and 46 defaulters under IMD, have been disconnected.

In the drive against unauthorized consumers, in all 45 unauthorized consumers including 13 under IED-II, 18 under IED-III and 14 others under IMD have been picked up and kept in the police lock-up, the Chief Engineer informed.

Asserting that today’s drive was a success, the Chief Engineer further informed that power tariff to the tune of Rs 2,36,045 could be collected during the drive with consumers themselves coming forward to clear their dues.

Out of the total amount, Rs 1, 20,000 have been collected from 15 consumers under IED-II, Rs 80,045 from 12 consumers under IED-III and Rs 36,000 from 13 consumers under IMD.

During the drive in these three Divisions, 21 unauthorized consumers were detected. However, as women and children could not be picked up under the provisions of the Act, the male heads of these families have been instructed to surrender to the police latest by tomorrow.

In case of failure, necessary action would be taken up in accordance with the Act, the Chief Engineer said.

Stating that the public should understand the significance of the drive being launched by the Department after invoking the provisions under the Electricity Act, 2003 amended in 2007, the Chief Engineer observed that even though the public may face some inconveniences, they should bear with it.

The Chief Engineer also informed that following the announcement of the drive against unauthorized and defaulting consumers, daily collection of power tariff through the counter of the Electricity office at Keishampat has increased four-fold.

Significantly the Chief Engineer decided to crack the whip just one day after three prominent personalities of the State filed a Public Interest Litigation in the Court, over the shoddy power supply in the State.

The Chief Engineer, had however explained that the decision to crack down on defaulters had nothing to do with the PIL filed in the Court.

All these years, the Electricity Act could not be effectively implemented in the State due to the delay in the appointment of the needed judicial officers, that is the Judges as well as the Assistant Public Prosecutors. The necessary appointments have been made and hence the crackdown, said, Sarat.

Loktak Project generates 90 megawatts of power but the State’s share is only 12 percent.

(Courtesy: The Sangai Express)

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