Stop stealing electricity or face blackout: NEA

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Feb 2, 2018-

The Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) has warned that electricity in various places in Lalitpur district will be cut off completely if consumers don’t stop stealing power. 

NEA Managing Director Kulman Ghising on Thursday said that customers served by the Lagankhel Distribution Centre were engaged in organized electricity theft and gave them 15 days to mend their ways. “It is a matter of shame that customers in the Kathmandu Valley are involved in electricity theft, and we will be forced to blackout such areas if we don’t get adequate support to control the theft,” said Ghising. “We take the decision to cut the power supply to these areas, and we will stick to it despite any type of political pressure.” Organised electricity theft is rampant in inner city areas in Lalitpur like Lukhusi, Chyasal, Mangal Bazaar, Ikhalakhu, Dhalachhe, Saugal, Dupat, Pinchhe and Pilachhe, among others. There is much theft on the outskirts of Lalitpur too. 

Areas like Harisiddhi, Ghuitol, Thaiba and Bandegaun served by the Godavari feeder, and Sanagaun, Siddhipur, Lubhu Bazaar and Lakuri Bhanjyang served by the Lubhu feeder are witnessing a high level of electricity theft. Similarly, stealing electricity is widespread in areas like Sunakothi, Thecho and Lele served by the Chapagaun feeder. 

Electricity theft in those areas reaches up to 50 percent, and the NEA is using black out as the last option to stop it, according to the state-owned power utility. The NEA is losing revenue totalling Rs500 million annually due to electricity theft in these areas.  

Stealing electricity is dangerous, and can even be fatal, the NEA said. “Locals have been stealing electricity by attaching wires to overhead transmission lines, tampering with the electricity meter, and in some case, disconnecting the meter,” said Birendra Singh, chief of the Lagankhel Distribution Centre. “Such acts may lead to fatal accidents.” Singh said that locals had threatened and attacked NEA staff and meter readers when they tried to stop electricity theft in those areas. “We need support from local leaders and the administration to stop such illegal activities,” said Singh. 

NEA Chief Ghising has been meeting with local representatives, the police and the administration seeking their help to stop electricity theft. Ghising on Thursday met with Lalitpur Mayor Chiri Babu Maharjan, Lalitpur Chief District Officer Mahadev Pant and the police chief and asked them for help. 

The NEA’s distribution losses came to 22.90 percent of output at the end of the last fiscal year, most of it due to theft. The power utility is planning to bring down the leakage to 20 percent by the end of this fiscal year. 

 

 

Electricity theft

Feeder Loss (%)

Chapagaun 33.01

Patan 52.23 

Lubhu 41.04

Godavari 54.82 

 

Source: Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA)

Published: 02-02-2018 08:25

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