Reliance Energy engages CISF to nab power thieves

Delhi''s private power distribution companies have engaged the Central Industrial Security Force, CISF, to check power theft. CNBC-TV18 reports that a dedicated force will not only more than pay for itself through a recovery of lost revenue, but also make privatisation acceptable, through lower tariffs.

Reliance Energy has engaged the Central Industrial Security Force to check the rampant power theft in its area of power supply. A hundred and twenty CISF police will be on call in central and east Delhi, where the company''s two subsidiaries distribute electricity.

The Delhi police is stretched, which is why the CISF has been employed. CEO, BSES Yamuna Power, Arun Kanchan, "We have been conducting about 9,000 raids with the Delhi Police and the theft has come down by 7 per cent, but it can be achieved far more with this."

BSES Yamuna says that it loses a third of power supplied to theft. It estimates that as much as Rs2,500 crore lost to thieves can be recovered annually. This will not only more than pay for the services of the CISF, but also help to bring power tariffs down, as honest consumers currently pay for those that don''t.

According to Rakesh Mehta, principal secretary, power, Delhi, said, "The Delhi Police is stretched due to a lot of other duties so they could be there or not when a power theft is brought to notice. We need a long term commitment so they are here for five years and dedicated fully for this."

Delhi, a state that has very little agricultural consumers, but has power loss in excess of 50 per cent gets a battalion. The CISF is now taking over who will be paid Rs3 crore annually, but its fees will be made up by the recovery of lost revenue.