The report of the two special officers, appointed by Calcutta High Court to inspect the premises of Aayash Hotel, in DD Block of Salt Lake, has stated that the hotel tampered with the supply line to illegally use more power than it had applied for.
Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghosh, in an order dated August 7, appointed head of Jadavpur University’s metallurgical engineering department Bimal Chowdhury and barrister-at-law Dipak Deb to conduct an inquiry and submit a report to the court.
“A tapping point was found in the main cable before reaching the metering kiosk at the portion of the ground floor below the staircase leading to the first floor. It appeared that there was bypassing of electrical energy through a separate low-tension cable by a ‘T’ joint,” the report submitted to the court states.
WBSEB had snapped the power lines of the popular Salt Lake watering hole on August 2, alleging that it was running on power drawn “fraudulently”, resulting in loss of revenue for the electricity board.
Only a small part of the power drawn was being routed through the 11-KV low-tension cable and the separate transformer laid for Aayash, WBSEB officials alleged.
P.K. Dutta, manager of the bar-cum-restaurant, was arrested, but subsequently released on bail. Hotel-owner Swapan Ghosh obtained anticipatory bail.
The establishment has filed a writ petition in Calcutta High Court, challenging the state electricity board’s move. The next hearing is likely this week.
The raid was part of the board’s operations against illegal use of power by domestic and commercial consumers after the Indian Electricity (West Bengal) Amended Act, 2001, came into effect.
“We conducted a series of raids in Salt Lake, Baguiati, Rajarhat, Bangur Avenue, New Barrackpore, Birati and other places,” a senior SEB official said. Around 60 raids have been conducted to date.
“Twenty FIRs have been lodged and five persons arrested,” the official disclosed, adding that the “biggest fraud” was by Aayash, which owes the SEB Rs 66 lakh as dues and penalty.