The government has launched a program to prevent theft of electricity from high-tension (HT) and low-tension (LT) lines by employing members of the Tripura State Rifles as part of a ‘Vigilance Squad’ operating throughout the state.
On Tuesday evening, Power Minister Ratan Lal Nath stated that some individuals are illegally consuming electricity by tapping into the HT and LT lines. The department is taking various steps to combat this issue.
He said after he took the charge of the Power department, focus is given on addressing incidents of electricity theft across the state, with plans to create awareness among the public starting from April 20.
Nath stated that large hoardings and flexes will be set up in various locations, including the offices of the District Magistrate, Sub-Divisional Magistrate, Block Development Officer, civic bodies, and bus terminals in and around Agartala city.
The Power Minister issued a warning to those who engage in stealing electricity through hook lines and directed Power department officials to take action against them while avoiding any impact on genuine consumers.
He also reminded people that electricity theft is punishable under the Tripura Electricity Act with up to three years of imprisonment, a fine of Rs 10,000, or both.
The Power department requested the Home department to allow the deployment of TSR personnel in the Vigilance Squad to catch those who steal electricity.
Power Minister Nath said, “The Power department aimed to reinforce the existing Vigilance Branch and submitted a request for approval to the Home Minister Dr. Manik Saha, who is also the Chief Minister. Dr. Saha gave assurance of approval, and the Power department will bear the expenses of the TSR personnel.”
Notably, during the 2022-23 fiscal year, the Vigilance Branch of TSECL disconnected 3,825 hook lines, conducted 699 raids, and imposed penalties totaling Rs 53.33 lakh.