MSEDCL exposes Rs 1.3-crore theft

PUNE: In a significant development, the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Ltd (MSEDCL) has pulled up Subhas Tippanna Nelge, a high tension (HT) consumer at Sai Capital on Senapati Bapat road, for illegally distributing electricity to his 16 tenants. A provisional bill of Rs 1.30 crore has been served to him, which has to be paid by December 31.

This information was given by the MSEDCL in its reply to a Right to Information (RTI) application submitted by Suryakant Shirole, a resident of S.B. road.

In a letter to Nelge on December 14, the Ganeshkhind urban circle of MSEDCL has said that the HT connection was checked by the deputy executive engineer on November 24 and it was observed that he was illegally distributing electricity to 16 of his tenants. A panchnama was also done at the spot.

"This unlawful act comes under rule no. 12 — re-selling of energy and under 126(6) of the Electricity Act 2003. As per the provisions of the rule, a consumer should be billed at twice the rate he/she is billed previously," the letter said.

As per the Electricity Act 2003, a person who distributes electricity has to have a proper licence, without which the act is considered illegal.

The MSEDCL has said that the bill worked out to Rs 1.30 crore and has attached a statement of actual billing for the period February 2006 to October 2007.

The on-site inspection revealed that the building had one HT meter given by the MSEDCL, but Nelge had installed 16 separate meters for the tenants, which were not authorised or approved by MSEDCL. These meters were getting supply from the one HT connection sanctioned by the power utility.

While replying to the first RTI application submitted by Suryakant Shirole, the power utility in September this year had confirmed that they had released only one HT connection at the building and that no other separate connection was issued to each consumer.

After receiving a reply to the first RTI application, Shirole submitted another application in October this year asking whether as per the Electricity Act 2003, Sai Capital can use the single HT connection for providing power to other customers in the same building. Shirole asked if this was not allowed, whether the MSEDCL has taken action against the person responsible under sections 126 and/or 135 or any other relevant section.

Shirole had also asked for copies of notices/ police complaints/ first information reports against the person, if any action has been initiated.

Meanwhile, the MSEDCL has also approached the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission for directions about further action to be taken against the customer.

MSEDCL exposes Rs 1.3-crore theft-Pune-Cities-The Times of India