LAHORE: As operations to detect power and gas theft continue, separate teams of the Lahore Electric Supply Company (Lesco) and Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) on Saturday detected hundreds of more theft cases in the provincial capital and other cities of central Punjab.
Forty-two people were arrested in the Lesco areas on charge of electricity theft while 247 FIRs were registered with various police stations. The Lesco teams detected another 527 cases of power theft in Lahore and districts of Kasur, Okara, Nankana Sahib and Sheikhupura. A meter reader was suspended from service for being involved in facilitating the people in electricity theft in the Gari Shahu area of the provincial capital.
According to the SNGPL, a team in Sialkot unearthed four illegal gas networks and disconnected 10 connections. It imposed Rs1.2m on gas thieves also. Seven gas connections were severed in Sargodha on illegal use of gas while another one was disconnected for tampering with the meter.
42 arrested for power theft in Lesco region, 247 FIRs registered
In Lahore, the SNGPL team disconnected 26 connections on charge of tampering with meters, 12 on illegal use of gas for commercial purposes and one for using compressor. The team also imposed a Rs4.9m fine on gas thieves.
In Bahawalpur, a team severed 25 connections on use of compressors while another seven on gas theft. The company disconnected 33 connections over illegal use of gas while imposing Rs40,000 fine on gas theft in Multan.
A team in Gujranwala disconnected 13 connections on the illegal use of gas and imposed Rs250,000 fine on gas thieves.
In Gujrat, the SNGPL disconnected nine connections on illegal use of gas while another two on the use of compressors. The company disconnected eight connections for use of fake meters while one on gas theft.
In Sahiwal, seven connections were disconnected over illegal extensions and tampering with meters while more than Rs20,000 fine was imposed on the consumers on account of gas theft.
The regional team in Faisalabad disconnected 29 connections for gas theft and imposed a Rs10,000 fine on gas thieves. In Sheikhupura, one connection was disconnected.
The electricity theft cases detected in the Lesco area on Friday included 10 industrial, 28 commercial and 489 domestic connections.
The power supply to all such connections was disconnected. Those involved in power theft were also charged with 966,566 units worth over Rs40.5m.
The Lesco teams recovered Rs31.7m from the chronic defaulters who failed to pay bills for months.
The Lahore administration has given powers of Lesco recovery to the tehsildars in Lahore and other parts of the division.
Published in Dawn, September 17th, 2023