Officials of Dakshin Gujarat Vij Company Limited (DGVCL),one of the state-run power distribution companies,have found that a farmer from Tapi district was supplying electricity to a bar-cum-hotel in a village across the border in Maharashtra.
This is the first such case we have seen. Power was being supplied from Pankhri village,which is on the border of Gujarat,to a hotel in the nearby village of Lakkadkot in Maharashtra, said deputy engineer at DGVCL,Bhupendra Patel.
Acting on a tip-off,a team of vigilance officials of DGVCL reached Lakkadkot village in Nandurbar district in Maharashtra Thursday afternoon and raided Abhi Hotel and Beer Bar,owned by one Bharat Babu Gavit.
While checking the meter box,officials found two meters installed for power distribution companies in Maharashtra. However,they also noticed that a yellow cable from the meter box disappeared into the ground,only to discover that its other end was connected to the meter box at the house of Thagania Gamit,a resident of Pankhri village in Uchhal taluka of Tapi district.
Officials said that Gamit,a farmer,had got Jyotigram feeder and had been availing of round-the-clock,uninterrupted power supply since 2008. Jyotigram is the state governments rural electrification scheme.
The length of the electricity cable was around 500 metres and it ran underground to the hotel and beer bar owner. We have slapped a penalty of Rs 25,000 on Gamit. He was regularly paying the bills,but we have made out a case of resale of power against him. We are trying to find out since when this illegal sale of power had been happening, Patel said.
When questioned,hotel owner Bharat Gavit told the officials he had two connections to source power from companies in Maharashtra,but that ensured power supply only for six to eight hours and so he contacted Gamit for uninterrupted power supply.
The engineers of Uchhal sub division of DGVCL are also under the scanner for possible complicity.
Patel said Gamit had been called for further questioning on Saturday.