Anantapur: Power pilferage keeps officials on their toes

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ANANTAPUR: The Power vigilance wing identified that a number of water purification plants were involved in power pilferage in the region. The power allocated for agriculture is being used by the water purification plants without paying bill for even pumping water from the borewells.

It is not just the water plants, even poultry units and educational institutions are among those not paying the bills. Officials identified those resorting to pilferage and told to pay penalty for violating the norms.

A water purification plant at Dampetla village in Bathalapalli mandal in Anantapur district is reportedly run by the organisers by bypassing the power connection.

Though, the plant has a regular connection, the vigilance department noticed poor consumption of units every month. During sudden raids, the vigilance team identified that power supply was bypassed and that water was being drawn from an agriculture borewell to the plant last month. More than Rs 1 lakh penalty was imposed against those running the plant.

Similarly, Godikondla purification plant in Bathalapalli mandal was fined for Rs 80,000 for pumping water from a nearby agriculture borewell which had no electricity meter. The Uppinesinapalli water plant in Dharmavaram Rural mandal also was found to be violating rules by the vigilance wing.

Official sources said a water plant in a rural area should get a minimum bill of Rs 8,000- Rs 10,000 every month. “But many of the plants were paying just Rs 3,000 as they were resorting to pilferage. They hav ebeen pumping water from borewells, which were not having any metres, an”engineer observed.

According to officials records, at least 347 cases were registered in January alone in Anantapur district and that a fine of `40.80 lakh was imposed as penalty for irregularities.

More than Rs 22.08 cr penalty was imposed on 34,200 connections for resorting to irregularities and pilferage in the state between January, 2016 to January, 2017.

About 6,200 cases were booked in Kadapa district and penalty of Rs 2.80 crore was imposed while 5,400 cases with Rs 2.60 crore penalty were registered in Anantapur district in between April 2016 to January, 2017.

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