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Steal power at your own peril
- Special meter to nail pilferage point

Ranchi, Jan. 2: Power thieves, beware!

The Jharkhand State Electricity Board (JSEB) is installing a special digital meter on transformers across 30 cities and towns — including the capital, steel cities Jamshedpur and Bokaro and coal hub Dhanbad — which will not only help stop pilferage, but also promises to locate the pilferer.

Official statistics show that at least 32 per cent power is, currently, stolen from the supply stream and, hence, remains unaccounted for. The digital transformer ratiometers or DTRs as they are called are gadgets fully equipped to curb such theft.

“The meters can measure both input and output of power. Thus, the feed to each transformer will be recorded, as will be the supply from the transformer to various points. So, a major difference between input and output can be known on real-time basis, while the meter will also indicate the point of pilferage making it easy to locate people stealing power,” JSEB chairman S.N. Verma explained.

He said in the first phase, the 30 cities and towns spread over 66 subdivisions were being covered by the project, which is under the direct jurisdiction of the Union government-sponsored Restructured Accelerated Power Development and Reform Programme (RAPDRP).

Under the ambitious programme, power producers can take IT help to strengthen and upgrade their network. The integrated IT solutions will help JSEB improve its customer relationship management, energy auditing, meter reading, billing and collection of exact information related to performance of power units.

The DTRs are equipped with a remote system and is linked to a centralised data centre via a modem. One such centre is coming up in Ranchi. Once the data hub is ready, all tasks related to meter reading and raising of bills will be done centrally without JSEB officials having to visit consumers every month.

“From a paltry Rs 137 crore a month, our monthly revenue collections have touched Rs 226 crore. We have fixed a target of Rs 250 crore a month so that JSEB can fund its various activities,” Verma said, adding that installation of the meters on all transformers in the 30 towns would be completed by March 2013.

The state power board, with the optimum utilisation of available resources, is poised for a turnaround in the near future, with its various flagship schemes like RAPDRP and Rajiv Gandhi Gramin Vidyutikaran Yojana on the fast track. So far, 67 per cent villages have received electricity and work at the remaining ones is being done on a war footing.

The JSEB is also being equipped with centralised telemetering facility at its Dhurwa headquarters. It will help facilitate round-the-clock monitoring of industrial, commercial and domestic consumers. A dedicated anti-theft team is in reserve to book pilferers.