Aiming to curtail power theft in the state, the Uttar Pradesh government has come out with stern measures against people indulging in such offence.
The state government has decided to slap the National Security Act (NSA) and Goondas Act against those obstructing electricity department officials from discharging their duties in checking power thefts.
On the other hand, the government will award those who give information about such thefts.
State Energy Minister Shrikant Sharma asserted that honest customers suffer because of power theft and the government is committed to eliminate this menace.
The energy minister said, “National Security Act and Goondas Act will be slapped on those obstructing officials from discharging their duties while curbing electricity theft. Power theft is a national crime. We are in the process of setting up 75 ‘bijli thane’ (power police stations) for this.”
Under the stringent NSA, a person can be detained without bail or trial and the authorities need not disclose the grounds of detention if they believe the detainee can act in a way that poses a threat to the security of the state/country or the maintenance of public order.
The Goondas Act aims at a year-long preventive detention of habitual offenders. According to the law, a ‘goonda’ is a person who, either by himself or as a member or leader of a gang, habitually commits or attempts to commit or abets the commission of offences.
Meanwhile, in a bid to ensure adequate availability of electricity by minimising the line losses, the state Cabinet has given approval to the Protsahan Yojana (encouragement scheme).
“In this regard, provisions have been made that a person informing about power theft will be given 10 per cent of the compounding fee (realised from a person indulging in power theft) as protsaahan (encouragement). “Similarly, 10 per cent of the compounding fee will also be given to the enforcement team,” the Uttar Pradesh Cabinet said in an official statement. (With PTI Inputs)