To curb power theft : Ludhiana / Pune show the way

‘Transmission Losses’ (official  term for pilfering or bijali chori) are as high as 40 % in Delhi.

Politicians and dadas and industries drawing power illegally are against any action to reduce power theft.

Novel way to curb power theft

TIMES NEWS NETWORK

Pune: The Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Ltd (MSEDCL) has adopted a novel plan to curb power thefts and reduce interruptions in supply to city’s major slum pockets and Pimpri-Chinchwad township.

The method was first tried by the Punjab power utility in Ludhiana and is called the ‘Ludhiana Pattern’. The pattern uses aerial bunch conductors and the electricity meters of consumers are installed atop a tall pole to make them inaccessible. Even the MSEDCL staffers have to use a ladder to take the metre readings.

Aerial bunch conductors have a plastic coating which does not allow the current to pass if a hook is attached to the conductor to steal power. To tap electricity from a normal open conductor all one has to do is put a hook attached to a wire on the conductor.

In Pune, the pattern has been replicated in the Annabhau Sathenagar slum in Sangvi, Pimpri division of MSEDCL. R A Mulani, executive engineer of Pimpri division, said that 114 consumers in the Annabhau Sathe slum were given electricity connections and their metres were put atop a seven-metre-high pole.

“The metres have been fixed in a big box to protect them from thieves and elements of nature,” Mulani said, adding that an aerial bunch conductor was fitted at the point of supply instead of the usual conductor.

Mulani said that another 103 slumdwellers from the same locality have applied for power connections and they too will be given connections using the same method. “It cost us Rs 10 lakh for implementing this system,” he said. Besides preventing power thefts the experiment has also reduced instances of power interruption resulting from sudden increase in load when power is tapped illegally.

The Ludhiana Pattern was also replicated at Janatavasahat slum near Parvati, where 120 consumers were given electricity connections. Fifteen metres each were fitted in eight boxes, which in turn were put up on seven-metre-tall poles at a cost of Rs 2.50 lakh. Consumers in Dandekar bridge slum, too, were given electricity connections using the same technique.

“Since the arrangement makes illegal tapping of power impossible, one does not see the usual mesh of cables on the pole which is a common site in a slum,” explained an official of the MSEDCL.

The officials added that the MSEDCL planned to implement the pattern in other slum pockets in Pune zone.
The project was implemented under the supervision of executive director Uttam Zalte, chief engineer S P Nagtilak and superintending engineer D R Padalkar.

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