Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA), the state-owned power utility, has achieved fair bit of success in curbing electricity theft in Lalitpur district. In the last few weeks since NEA upped the ante against locals of the Lalitpur district involved in electricity theft, the power utility has collected around Rs1.5 million in fines. Large number of people have also thronged NEA distribution centre at Lagankhel to formally get electricity connection.
“We have succeeded to some extent in curbing electricity theft in the district,” NEA Managing Director Kulman Ghising said. Apart from the raid and monitoring conducted by NEA staff with the help of the police administration, the power utility has also reached out to different local representatives of the areas and sought their support to control theft.
“We have received good support from local leaders who are convincing the people to purchase electricity instead of stealing it,” said Ghising. After NEA threatened to cut off power supply in different areas of Lalitpur district if electricity theft did not stop, newly-elected local body leaders have started convincing the public to refrain from stealing electricity.
According to NEA, organised electricity theft was rampant in inner city areas like Lukhusi, Chyasal, Mangal Bazaar, Ikhalakhu, Dhalachhe, Saugal, Dupat, Pinchhe and Pilachhe of Lalitpur. Areas like Harisiddhi, Ghuitol, Thaiba and Bandegaun served by the Godavari feeder, and Sanagaun, Siddhipur, Lubhu Bazaar and Lakuri Bhanjyang served by the Lubhu feeder were also witnessing a high level of electricity theft. Similarly, stealing electricity was widespread in areas like Sunakothi, Thecho and Lele served by the Chapagaun feeder.
After electricity theft in those areas reached as high as 50 percent of the total consumption, NEA issued a statement threatening to black out the entire area, stating it has been losing revenue totalling Rs500 million annually.
Currently, NEA Chief Ghising has been meeting with local representatives, the police and other concerned authorities seeking their help to stop electricity theft. Ghising on Thursday met with Lalitpur Mayor Chiri Babu Maharjan, Lalitpur Chief District Officer Mahadev Pant and the police chief and sought their support.
NEA’s distribution losses stood at 22.9 percent of the total output at the end of the last fiscal year, mostly due to theft. The power utility is planning to bring down electricity leakage to 20 percent by the end of this fiscal year.
From The Kathmandu Post