28 February, 2021

Megawatt Thieves

Big industries no longer clamour for power, they simply steal it

Megawatt Thieves

Power sure corrupts, doesn’t matter if it’s electric power. Madhya Pradesh is a glaring example. What seven years ago was a power-surplus state has since been floundering in the labyrinths of perpetual shortage, all thanks to the immense greed of those who want more and more. The Madhya Pradesh State Electricity Board (MPSEB) now tots up losses of about Rs 1,200 crore every year.

This is an intriguing scenario, considering that the industrial sector which complains of power shortage has shown over 30 per cent decline in demand in the past five years. During the same period power production has gone up from 3,813 to 4,025 megawatts. The root of the crisis lies in line losses which have increased from 13 per cent to 20 per cent, undercutting the benefits of increased generation. These losses have been facilitated by theft and fraud by industries in connivance with MPSEB officials and politicians and a faulty captive power policy.

An inspection drive has found that more than 70 per cent of the industrialists in the state steal electricity, causing direct and...

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