‘Anti-Power Theft Mobile Squad’ activated
Power department faces shortfall of Rs 120 crore annually due to rampant power theft
Dimapur, August 12
In a move that can best be described as “aggressive”, the Anti-Power Theft Mobile Squad (APTMS) in collusion with the Power department now plans to intensify raids. Their mission is to arrest the menace of rampant power theft and tampering with power networks. No defaulter found indulging in power theft is to be spared. The penalty will either be in the form of a fine or imprisonment.
The statute of APTMS comes into immediate effect following expiry of a stipulated one month grace period that ended on August 11.
The APTMS was launched last month in the premises of the State Load Dispatch Centre (SLDC) Nagarjan by the Parliamentary Secretary for Power, Kipili Sangtam.
The mobile squad will comprise one platoon of armed police personnel headed by the Deputy Superintendent of Police. They will function under the office of Superintendent Engineer (Power), Dimapur Circle, G Chishi.
Talking to Eastern Mirror, Chishi said an approximate 40% of the total energy is pilfered through illegal/unauthorised means. The department invests about Rs 200 crore for purchase of power while the revenue generated from consumers is only Rs 80 crore annually. The shortfall of Rs 120 crore annually is attributed to rampant power theft.
Along with rampant power theft which has been the major cause of the worsening power supply scenario in the State, Chishi also admitted that rapid urbanisation is leading to increasing power demand, exposing the inadequacy of the current infrastructure and machineries.
Decrying the attitude of the public which considers Power department a ‘subsidy department,’ Chishi feels that this attitude must change.
He said the officials can only educate and create awareness on the role and responsibility of the public but cannot use force like that of the police department. He reasoned that the public must pay for what they consume to enable the department to deliver uninterrupted power supply. Citing the example of consumers in rural areas, who through the respective Village Electricity Management Board, have not failed in payment of bills, Chishi said the mindset of urban residents also need to change.
The newly purchased 100 MVA transformer will be functional after two months, which is likely to improve the power situation in the state. At present, the department is functioning with a 65 MVA transformer.
Responding to a query on rusting electric poles which are seen precariously hanging and are a public hazard, Chishi said the department is trying its best to replace them and repair others, but fund constraints prevent the Power department from tackling these issues at present.
Kohima gets light after 24 hrs
KOHIMA, AUGUST 12
Kohima reeled under complete darkness for more than 24 hours since Sunday evening with business community and hospitals suffering immense difficulties.
The power cut was reportedly due to the damage of 132 KV transmission line brought as alternative through Imphal-Karong-Kohima line on Sunday.
The power supply was restored at around 5 pm Monday evening. However, the normal load shedding started within an hour.
Most of the shops in the State capital not having inverters and depending on chargeable lights during blackouts suffered the most as it was not only the current failure but even the natural light failed to brighten due to poor weather condition throughout the day.
Talking to this correspondent, an e-ticketing vendor in the main town rued that due to lack of power supply he was not able to do any business for the whole day. He said on an average he sells 15-20 tickets, both airways and train, everyday but today his business was nil.
Internet cafes also suffered for the day as the power failure resulted in disruption of internet connection and some went without connection.
On the other hand, it is learnt that hospitals and private clinics in the capital did not suffer much as they are now equipped with modern technology to support during power breaks while conducting any major operations.
Notably, the ticket distribution ceremony for the Noksen A/C bye-election, which was conducted by the ruling NPF today, was also badly affected.
Due to power failure, the sound system could not be utilized throughout the function compelling the chairperson and speakers to speak louder to be audible to the packed NPF Central Office conference hall.
In a jocular vein, while the DAN consensus candidate, CM Chang, was being administered oath of allegiance by NPF President Dr. Shürhozelie, Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio was commenting in Nagamese “jur para kotha kobi, microphone nai” (speak louder as there is no microphone).
Meanwhile, a release issued by Additional Chief Engineer of Power Department, Imlizumzuk Ao, said power supply to five districts – Kohima, Wokha, Phek, Kiphire and Tuensang had been affected due to collapse of one Transmission Pylon of Dimapur-Kohima 132 KV line at 6th Mile during the petrol pump fire on August 9.
Thought the transimmission was restored on the same night by the department by using an alternative 132 KV transmission line through Imphal-Karong-Kohima line, it got damaged Sunday resulting in the power cut.