Metre-tampering: Two private employees, consumers booked
TEAM HAD IDENTIFIED 26 CASES OF METREREADING CONCEALMENT AMOUNTING TO SWINDLING OF TOTAL ARREARS OF ₹15 LAKH
JALANDHAR: In case of concealing the right metre readings and carrying the wrong readings at a large scale by unauthorised metre readers in Jalandhar cantonment, the police have registered a first information report (FIR) against two private employees of the outsourced firm and unidentified power consumers in three local colonies.
The issue was highlighted by HT in August. The matter came to light after Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) enforcement wing carried out a raid in few residential areas of cantonment sub -urban area after receiving complaints from different channels. The four residential areas that were inspected by the PSPCL team are Deep Nagar, Beant Nagar, Rama Mandi and Old Phagwara Road site. All the domestic connections were in the range of 15-20 kilowatt (KW).
As many as 1,400 electric metres installed in the residential premises were checked by the team during a week-long inspection. The team has identified 26 cases of metre-reading concealment which amounts to the total arrears of around ₹15.63 lakh.
“PSPCL has faced a huge revenue loss due to wrong metering and concealment of metre readings as the metres were deliberately burnt. Many instances of destroying the metres to make them unreadable also came to the forefront,” mentioned FIR.
Officials said that the concealment of correct metre reading varied from 2,000 units to 20,000 units. It is to be mentioned that the current cost of 20,000 units utilised by the domestic consumers is around ₹1.5 lakh.
The PSPCL had outsourced Hyderabad- based M/S Cosyn Ltd to carry out the metre reading work in the Jalandhar Cantonment area. In its week-long inspection, enforcement department has said. “The unethical practice is being carried out to benefit certain consumers during the peak summer season when the power consumption is the alltime high.”
Officials added that some of the metres, particularly installed in the premises, did not even match the ones uploaded in the system of power department. For instance, where the actual metre reading was 44,369 units, but recorded reading was 44,433.
“cantonment Excecutive engineer has been conducting an inquiry into the matter and an FIR has already been registered against the outsourced employees. In case any PSPCL staff is found involved in the case, the department will take stern action against him,” saiddevinder Singh Tiwana. chief engineer, PSPCL north zone.
The case has been registered under the Sections 409 (criminal breach of trust by a public servant or agent), 420 (cheating), 120-B (punishment of criminal conspiracy), 379 (punishment for theft) of the Indian Penal Code in Rama Mandi police station against a metre reader, a supervisor and unidentified consumers in the power theft and tampering case.