In what could be a setback for discoms and Delhi government’s efforts to curb power thefts during summer, the Centre has expressed its inability to provide the CISF personnel, as requested by discoms, to crack down on power thefts in the capital.
Sources in the government told Newsline that discoms had requested for CISF personnel in areas where thefts were reported. The government had then written to the Union Home Ministry requesting the same.
But, in a recent communication sent to the government, sources said, the Centre informed the government that CISF is deputed in very “sensitive” areas for “sensitive” situations and that discoms may use the Delhi Police force for such purposes.
The discoms have made repeated requests to the government to engage the central security force when discom officials went on their anti-theft drives. For about two years till 2009, the discoms were provided the services of CISF after their teams came under attack from unscrupulous elements while conducting raids.
According to the sources in the Power department, at the time when CISF jawans were aiding officials carry out raids, the rate of power loss in the city was around 53 per cent. The raids helped discoms bring down transmission and distribution losses —- which also includes power theft —- to 17 per cent.
The discoms also had earlier told the Power department that if they were not provided additional manpower to check thefts, the cost of power in the city will shoot up. The discoms, in 2014, had sought about 300 personnel from the Central force but the request was not met.
In 2014, the Delhi government’s Power department was considering a proposal to employ over 300 ex-servicemen to assist discoms.
According to an energy expert, power theft is highest in industrial areas —- to run illegal unit — and discoms require the assistance of a specialised force to deal with people in these areas. Discoms had requested the assistance of the security force while conducting raids in unauthorised colonies.