Power theft on the rise in Saptari

Rajbiraj, July 23

For want of regular monitoring and lack of effective policy to discourage power theft, the unscrupulous practice continues in the rural areas of Saptari.

As hardly any monitoring is carried out in the district, from normal household electric gadgets like fans and water pumps to large machines in furniture industries and mills are being operated from the power procured by applying hooks on live power cables.

In the name of monitoring, a team occasionally visits the villages, but they impose a nominal fine and release the pilferers.

“On the one hand, power pilferage is a crime and on the other people are getting maimed or killed in the bid to steal power,” said a local, urging the power utility to beef up its monitoring on a regular basis and introduce stringent measures to discourage the ongoing power theft.

Meanwhile, regular customers are at the receiving end of power thefts. There are around 52,000 clients of Nepal Electricity Authority in the district. As the power theft goes unabated, regular customers are affected with hours-long load shedding given the high demand of power.

According to sources at NEA distribution centre Rajbiraj, 60 per cent of power is lost to pilferage. Chief at the centre Ramudgar Sah conceded that attempts by his office to check power leakage have borne no fruit.

“We are doing the needful. This year alone, we took action against 128 persons for power theft. However, the illegal act continues unabated,” he said, adding that his office had collected Rs 1.79 million in fine from the ‘power thieves’.