Drive Against Power Theft: 11 More Jailed

IMPHAL, Feb 22 : Eleven defaulters whose power connections were snapped for not paying overdue bills have been sent to jail for re-connecting to the main power line furtively even as one employee has been pulled up by police for possessing forged no due certificate.

Speaking to media persons at his office this evening, Power Department Chief Engineer N Sarat said that the 11 defaulters who committed the offence of re-connecting to the main power line after being snapped may be imprisoned for three years or they may be imposed  fine of double the power bills indebted to them.

The defaulters who have been imprisoned belong to Mahaballi, Palace Compound, Keishamthong Hodam Leirak and Keishamthong Longjam Leirak.

Appealing to all the people not make unauthorized power connections in furtive manner, the Chief Engineer said that the department would carry on the on- going drive without giving any specific time or place throughout the year.

One Y Kunjo, a driver in school education department has also been arrested by Lamphel Police for possessing forged no due certificate.

Befitting actions would be initiated if any staff of Power Department is found involved in forging no due certificates, Sarat said.

The department has sent specimens of signatures and seals of the Power Department’s 14 Executive Engineers of 14 divisions to Heads of Departments, DDOs and Treasury.

Till yesterday, the department has collected around Rs 10 crores in the course of the ongoing drive while power connections of 3773 consumers have been snapped as 152 unauthorized consumers have been booked.

Claiming that the same drive has been launched in hill districts too, the Chief Engineer said that it results would be known very soon.

While observing that most of the people do not appreciate the ongoing drive as larger section of the population are illegal consumers, he appealed to all not to tap power in unauthorized manner.

However, the same drive has been acknowledged by the Planning Commission even though it is little late.

At present 75 per cent of the power provided by the department is lost due to illegal tapping, Sarat said.

To a query about providing two power lines to residence of the Power Minister and power bills due to Ministers and MLAs, the Chief Engineer said that the Power Minister being a cabinet Minister, it is mandatory to provide interrupted power to his residence.

As for power bills of Ministers, they are paid by GAD while that of MLAs are paid by the Assembly, Sarat said.

As against 80-82 MW of power required in the State during day time, only 40 to 50 MW of power are available. During night, more than 100 MW of power are required for the State but only 75-85 MW are available at present, he added.

(Courtesy: The Sangai Express)

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