utility theft, tamper

In the Indian city of Hyderabad, raids conducted by the Central Power Distribution Company (CPDCL) between March and May this year found at least 669 cases of meter tampering and dozens of thefts, the Times of India reports.

Muralidhar Rao, chief vigilance officer, at CPDCL said: “The drive is a result of a high court order issued on February 24 that has directed us to take steps to combat power theft in the area. The drive will continue indefinitely until theft is minimised.”

The drive will focus on commercial establishments, which use three-phase meters as their rate of consumption of power is higher than that of other consumers, Rao added. “If consumption is high, the bills should reflect that but this is not the case. We have not covered industrial consumers so far,” he said.

CPDCL conducted inspections over 41 days and out of the 2,142 meters inspected, the company has recorded 669 cases that indicated that the meters were tampered with, as well as 40 cases of direct theft.

“The 669 meters have been seized and will be sent for meter reading test (MRT). Another 176 meters from apartments have been taken and these will also be sent for testing,” said a CPDCL official, requesting anonymity. About 520 meters have been replaced so far, the official added.

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