Best practices in commercial loss reduction by maclaren1

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									                                          Best Practices in Distribution Loss Reduction
                           Distribution Reform, Upgrades and Management (DRUM) Training Program

                 Best Practices in Commercial Loss Reduction
                     Kodanda R. Parupally, CORE International, Inc.

The study on commercial losses in power distribution utilities involves the following

     1.      Direct tapping by the non customers.
     2.      Pilferage by the existing customers.
     3.      Defective metering, billing and collection functions, and
     4.      The role of franchisees, user groups and gram panchayats in billing and

Direct tapping by non customers

In certain areas, direct tapping of power by non customers is widely prevalent. This is
mainly in domestic and agricultural categories. Geographical remoteness, mass basis
for theft, poor law enforcement capability and inaction on the part of utility are helping
this phenomenon.

Some amount of public relations work by the utility is needed to tackle this menace. It is
to be widely publicized that theft will increase the tariff for the genuine consumers, result
in poor voltages, burnt motors, failed transformers and dried crops. The scarce
resources of the state meant for social welfare are diverted to feed these power thieves.

Some change in the value systems of the society is also needed. The opinion makers
and social leaders are to be involved to effectively tackle this massive social evil.

Direct theft is an insult and thus a challenge to the utility engineer. It speaks volumes
about the inefficient functioning of the company. Tackling it brooks no delay. Other
works can be stopped and total attention diverted for this purpose.

The details of legislation, procedure to inspect, detect and prosecute the criminals are
discussed separately.

Pilferage of power by the existing customers

Theft by the existing consumers is the predominant cause of loss of revenue to the
electrical utilities. Almost all categories of the consumers are involved in this. However
emphasis can be given on inspecting high value services for more effective and
immediate gains.

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  Institution Logo                                                                      Power Finance Corporation Ltd.
                                                                                                  (A Govt. of India Undertaking)
                                         Best Practices in Distribution Loss Reduction
                          Distribution Reform, Upgrades and Management (DRUM) Training Program

The modus operandi

A.     Totally bypassing the meter.

The meter is not tampered. It is like direct tapping. From the supply lines, the tapping is
made and part or full load is fed from that. This can be proved only when it is observed
at the time of inspection. The consumer can erase all traces of theft if the inspection is
known in advance.

B.     Tampering the meter.

     1. Bypassing at the terminal block.
     2. Damaging the meter internal mechanism.

There are umpteen methods for tampering the meter. New methods are being
constantly evolved. The thief is always ahead of the police. The latter tries and
sometimes succeeds in catching the former.

The problem of theft, its magnitude, procedural aspects in detecting it and legal position
are discussed now in detail. Here, it is to be noted that these are common for both
customer and non customer theft.

Tackling Power Theft


Theft of energy is almost the single cause of all ailments afflicting power utilities. The
transformer failures, breakdowns, poor collection of revenue, financial losses, the wide
spread customer dissatisfaction, the recurring crisis in summer crop period, the poor
creditworthiness resulting in inability to raise the funds needed for the required growth,
increased technical losses and the corroded integrity of employees... are all the
manifestations of the theft. These can include low frequency, cascade trippings in grid
and unscheduled shutdowns. The whole bad image of the utilities is due to theft. In the
districts where theft is non existent, the utility is having good reputation and vice versa.


In the nation around Rs.40, 000 crores are lost by the utilities annually. In any other
sector - be it private, public or joint - or be it in the state or the nation — no other
company is losing money in this magnitude. In the world over power utilities are making
profits. Those shares are considered as retired people’s and widows' shares. They
make money whether it is famine or flood, though not excess profits. With just half of
this amount employment guarantee scheme is being planned. Within two and half years

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     Institution Logo                                                                  Power Finance Corporation Ltd.
                                                                                                 (A Govt. of India Undertaking)
                                         Best Practices in Distribution Loss Reduction
                          Distribution Reform, Upgrades and Management (DRUM) Training Program

of this money all the 444 pending irrigation projects can be completed, irrigating millions
of acres.


The beneficiaries of theft are anti social elements, immoral political abettors and
unscrupulous industrialists. The bad money is driving out the good money from the
market. This is a social menace crippling all other developmental and social welfare

A.P., as usual, is the forerunner in recognizing this menace and established a separate
wing for pilferage detection as early as in early sixties. Even now in some states there is
no such separate cadre for detecting pilferage. The local officer, either operation or
construction or MRT, is very much preoccupied with his busy day-to-day activities and
cannot spare time for detection of theft. The social and political influences are
more easily brought on the local officer who has, perforce, to deal with them in
other fora regularly. A specialized knowledge on the functioning of various meters
and the latest M.O. of power theft can be acquired by a dedicated band only.

 Personnel: While filling up DPE (Detection of Pilferage of Electricity) wing extra
care is to be taken so as to have only officers having the required technical
knowledge, tact, tenacity and integrity: at times, they would be detecting, dealing and
deciding the cases involving crores of rupees on the spot.
Opportune time: With the advent of E.R.C., the functioning of electrical utility is now
transparent. Its financial performance is in public gaze. The necessity of eradicating
theft is realized by all.

After realizing this, state governments are coming out in a big way to support the
electrical engineers entrusted with the arresting of power pilferage. The opposition
parties, farmers’ organizations, colony welfare associations and industrialists are one
with us in this errand. If we do not move now, our very sincerity will be debated.
One cannot be guilty of inaction on the notion that attempting to control theft is
dangerous to ones self. Actually the test of ones loyalty to the organization is the
number of cases she books in a month.

Functions: Though originally DPE wing was meant only for detection of pilferage, of
late its functioning is covering many other facets:

     1.    Malpractice.
     2.    Back billing.
     3.    Excess connected loads.
     4.    Poor power factors in all categories.
     5.    Running of captive generator sets without adequate safety arrangements etc.
     6.    Non sealing of AB switches, meter boxes, and terminal covers.

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  Institution Logo                                                                     Power Finance Corporation Ltd.
                                                                                                 (A Govt. of India Undertaking)
                                         Best Practices in Distribution Loss Reduction
                          Distribution Reform, Upgrades and Management (DRUM) Training Program

     7.    Line losses in selected towns, industrial feeders etc.
     8.    Functioning of border meters, capacitor banks etc.
     9.    Bus, P.T. and C.T. facilities for efficient metering.
     10.   Inspection of high value UDC services.
     11.   Study of MRBs.
     12.   Applying CAT for HT & LT services and inspecting class F services, etc.
     13.   Maintenance of assets by local officers.
     14.   Billing irregularities in transformer repairs, maintenance and construction
     15.   Non standard releasing of services.
     16.   Releasing of services in UDC premises.
     17.   Releasing of services in wrong categories.
     18.   Coordinating massive inspections with all engineers and APTS personnel
           wherever required.
     19.   Involvement of employees in various irregularities.
     20.   Payment and billing pattern of services of VIPs.

Legal Aspects: Electricity Act 2003 is being implemented now in respect of power theft
and other irregularities.   The relevant sections with brief description are covered
Theft or pilferage of energy is a conscious and dishonest consumption of unmetered
For back billing and such cases where no prosecution is contemplated, section 126 is
desirable. Where the loss to utility is heavy, section 135 is to be taken recourse to and
otherwise section 138. Sections 135 and 138 are cognizable, nonbailable and
punishable with imprisonment.

Judgementality: Understand the value systems of the judiciary.

Let 99 criminals go scot-free, but one innocent person should not be convicted. So even
an iota of doubt will make the case weak. The beneficiary of the crime and the motive
are to be established convincingly. Above board. Not only respect judiciary but seem to
respect too. Take the seat only when offered which is done fairly quickly. No
unnecessary laughing. Keep a smiling face and give firm and polite replies.

Rapport: Meet the people of the area in advance. Explain to them that the theft
eradication is for their benefit. Higher tariffs, low voltages, drying crops, scarce
resources for social welfare and development, failed transformers and burnt motors can
be avoided. Initially target the opinion makers who will set the trend for others to follow.
In some cases, attacking the weakest link may be taken recourse to. Prove that thieving
is not any more economical.

The arms and ammunition: Every engineer of utility, authorized to detect, must have
the following materials always with her:

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  Institution Logo                                                                     Power Finance Corporation Ltd.
                                                                                                 (A Govt. of India Undertaking)
                                         Best Practices in Distribution Loss Reduction
                          Distribution Reform, Upgrades and Management (DRUM) Training Program

Inspection notes, white papers, carbons, stamp, stamp pad, gum bottle, cutting pliers,
cutter, spanners of assorted sizes, tester, 1000W heater, testing bulb, magnifying lens,
torch light, camera, cloth backed covers, meter cartons and a hammer. Seals, sealing
wire and sealing pliers are desirable.

Where is theft? Contact your worker on one to one basis. He will come out. Explain to
him that if theft is detected subsequently by any inspecting officer, he has to explain his
ignorance lest he be impleaded as an abettor. If he points out some thefts, subsequent
one or two findings can always be explained. Meter reading register is the best source
to catch thieves. You go to a house, see the bill, connected load, the consumption
pattern and you can easily conclude. Give wide publicity to the phones of vigilance and
DPE officers. Once a message goes to the public that you are really serving your
organization, there would be a constant stream of revelations by the informants.

Reconnaissance: Select five to six targets in a locality. One person should know the
location precisely and he should take the inspecting officer to the installation directly.
The ownership, the name of the registered consumer, the name of person availing
supply and the No./S.F.No. of the house/field are to be collected in advance.

Sensitive areas: The targets are to be finalized much in advance. The precise time of
raid shall be kept confidential. Go in required numbers. Small is beautiful. Mobility is
required. Get satisfied if you could detect one or two cases. Close the show in one or
two minutes. Inform all the members of the team, to come back to the vehicle in one
and a half minutes and there would be no waiting for them. To the extent possible, bring
the criminal along with you.

Sprinkle color: Take color photos of the scene and details of offence. Avoid private
photographer; he may decline to stand as a witness in the end. Have five copies of
each photo.     Furnish negatives to police.  Mark the particulars and if possible
signatures on the reverse of photo.

Writing notes: Fill up every item of the inspection notes. Note correct postal address.
Draw a sketch of the scene of offence on a separate sheet marking the orientation. Try
hard to get signature of the consumer/representative. Procure independent witnesses
limiting to two. Even departmental witnesses should be limited to one or two. The utility
cannot afford more witnesses. You lose the case by not being able to bring all the
witnesses at a time for the hearing and by not being coherent.

The scene and method of crime should be noted clearly. Don't commit the details of
which you are not certain.

Police. They are there to protect law and order and to look after all the teams. They are
not there in a single scene of offence from the beginning to the end. Their names are
not to be noted in the inspection notes.

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  Institution Logo                                                                     Power Finance Corporation Ltd.
                                                                                                 (A Govt. of India Undertaking)
                                         Best Practices in Distribution Loss Reduction
                          Distribution Reform, Upgrades and Management (DRUM) Training Program

Seizure. The Act is emphatic on incriminating material. So bring the materials, wire and
equipment to prove the crime. Note like this; ‘The service wire and the motor used for
committing the pilferage are removed from the scene of offence to hand over the same
in the police station for producing in the court as material evidence’. Keep the
incriminating materials in a cover/carton, seal and have it attested by all.

F. I. R. Give the complaint as soon as possible.          Delay is dangerous.     In the
complaint you can add the names of the persons who are actually committing/abetting
the crime. Narrate the whole event as it passed. Note the taking of photos, removal of
incriminating material and hand over the same along with complaint. On a separate
sheet, write down the full name, age, profession and address of all the people involved
and give one copy to S.H.O. On a small slip, note down the details of crime, signatures
and paste it to the removed material. Give extra slips to police.

Court matters: calling out in a court is the initial stage in the day when the cases to be
actually taken up on that day arc decided basing on the presence of the persons
connected with the case. Crime No. is the number given to a complaint registered in the
police station. Court Case No. (C. C. No.)/Original Suit No.(O.S.No.) is the serial
number of the case registered in the court initially. I.A.No. (Interlocutory Application
No.) is the number given to an interim petition filed by either of the litigants in which one
seeks an interim relief while the original case is yet pending. W.P.No. (Writ Petition No.)
is the case number in high court. W.P.M.P. (Writ petition miscellaneous petition) is
interlocutory application in W.P. IPC 186 is for mere obstructing the public servant and
is cognizable. IPC 353 is for obstructing the public servant with force. It is bailable,
cognizable and can go up to 2 years or fine or both. IPC 332 is for major injury to public
servant. In cognizable offence, police can arrest without warrant. Cr. P. C. 43
authorizes private persons to arrest the criminals in certain cases.

Rehearsal:     One day before the trial, collect the witnesses and recollect the scene of
offence so that the actual incident can be presented to the court accurately and with
coherence. Ensure the presence of other witnesses. Go through the file. Meet the
lawyers in advance and clear their doubts. Appeals are to be made in time.

Suggestions:          Let there be frequent change of incumbents interacting with the
consumers. A message should go to every one in the society that theft would be curbed
at any cost. Every officer should be made conscious of the present policy of making him
accountable for the energy taken by him. A comparison with contiguous areas will
highlight the weak spots. Any replacement of single phase meter shall be done only
after S.O. inspects, Asst. Divisional Engineer in case of 3 phase meters. All removed
meters should be handed over to M.R.T. It shall check every meter for possible
tampering. Inaction-on the part of any field officer-in detecting cases shall be reviewed
and taken seriously. The theft is very predominant in many areas. Single Section Officer
or handful of DPE officers can never complete the job.              Authorizing revenue and
police officials, as is done in M.P., to detect theft is desirable. Sub engineers and UDCs

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  Institution Logo                                                                     Power Finance Corporation Ltd.
                                                                                                 (A Govt. of India Undertaking)
                                            Best Practices in Distribution Loss Reduction
                             Distribution Reform, Upgrades and Management (DRUM) Training Program

also can be authorized to book category I cases at least when there is no meter at all.
Electronic meters will go a long way in controlling theft. Clear guidelines on the
procedure to be adopted, while releasing a new service, are to be issued.

MIS: The performance of DPE wing is to be reviewed periodically as is done for other
wings. Their functioning in all the activities is to be taken into account. MIS reflecting the
performance of an officer in controlling theft is to be insisted.

 IT Applications: Of late, the rate of booking cases increased substantially. The
drudgery of paper work is appalling. No meaningful review and follow-up is becoming
possible manually. Marking of copies to various wings, communicating to them and
confirming subsequent actions manually is really meaningless in this age. So I.T. should
be brought in and made full use of. Already M.A.T.S. is being implemented in
Hyderabad company. This is to be studied and revised suitably and implemented
throughout. CAT is a useful tool for detection of theft before inspection.

Nemesis: Control of theft is not a single time operation. No amount of hi-tech gadgetry,
ABC, boxes to meters, theft-revealing meters - will serve any purpose unless they are
accompanied by continuous vigilance. Stop other work, if necessary, and rush for
catching the thieves now!

Theft of energy and Electricity Act 2003

I.       Electricity Act 2003 brought radical changes in all the facets of the electricity
         sector. Let us consider its impact on power theft and assessment.
II.      Sec.55 contemplates compulsory metering of all the services within 2 years.
         Concerned E. R. C. is to initiate action on the defaulting company and person. It
         can extend this period if necessary.
III.     Sec.126. Earlier, the litigation could be prolonged endlessly. Further there were
         innumerable stages for appeal by the accused. Now they are reduced to just two.
         a. Inspecting officer is herself the provisional assessing officer and acts as the
              final assessing officer too.
         b. This section is non criminal in nature.
         c. Assessment is at one and half times the normal rate.
         d. The assessment is to be made for 3 months for domestic and agricultural
              services and 6 months for other services.
         e. The consumer could always say that he did not receive any notice from the
              utility. Now the Act says that it could be served on any person available.

IV.      Sec.127. There is only one appeal. It is to be made within 30 days after making
         one third payment. Earlier, there was protracted litigation without any payment or
         with nominal payment. After such long periods, interest too was not levied. This
         section specifies 16% half yearly compounded interest after 30 days of order of
         assessment and not from the date of serving of the notice. Further, the decision is

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       Institution Logo                                                                   Power Finance Corporation Ltd.
                                                                                                    (A Govt. of India Undertaking)
                                            Best Practices in Distribution Loss Reduction
                             Distribution Reform, Upgrades and Management (DRUM) Training Program

V.     Sec.135. Criminal prosecution is to be launched on the person who
       DISHONELSTLY taps, tampers, damages etc.
       a. 3 years imprisonment or fine or both can be levied. For the first offence, the
           fine is at 3 times the loss sustained by the utility. For the second offence, it is
           at 6 times and if the connected load is more than 10 kw, imprisonment is from
           6 months to 5 years.
       b. The burden of proof rests on the consumer.
       c. The inspecting officer can break open, seize and remove records.
       d. But the presence of one adult male member of the family is necessary from 6
           p. m. to 6 a. m.

VI.   Sec.138. Restoration during disconnection period, even if it is through the meter, is
      a criminal act entailing 3 years imprisonment or fine of Rs. 10,000 or both.
VII. Sec.145. No civil court has jurisdiction.
VIII. Sec.150. The utility officials can prosecute the ruffians and misleading leaders for
      abetment of these offences even if it is against the provisions of Cr. P.C. The black
      sheep in the utility employees can be prosecuted as abettors whenever they even
      just acquiesce.
IX. Sec.151. The complaint can be lodged, inter alia, only by the employees of the
X. Sec.152. Compounding of the case is permitted at the specified rates.

             S. No.     Nature of service                  Rate per kw /hp /kva
             1.         Industrial                         Rs. 20, 000
             2.         Commercial                         Rs. 10, 000
             3.         Agricultural                       Rs. 2, 000
             4.         Others                             Rs. 4, 000

The appropriate government may change these rates.
The acceptance of the compounding fees by an officer empowered shall amount to
clean acquittal.
This can be availed only once for any person or consumer.

XI.    Sec.153. A special court shall be constituted for these cases with a judge of the
       cadre of Additional District and Sessions Judge.

XII. Sec.154. Only Special Court. Summary trial with punishment up to 5 years. Can
      pardon. Civil liability not less than 2 times the assessment for 12 months.
XIII. Sec.156. Appeal to High Court.
XIV. Sec.157. Review by special court.
XV.      Sec.168. Protection for bonafide actions of assessing officer, public servant etc.
XVI. Sec.169. Assessing officers along with others are public servants.
XVII. Sec.170. Considered as land revenue.
XVIII. Sec.171. Notice can be served on the person available, or pasted at a
         prominent place.

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     Institution Logo                                                                     Power Finance Corporation Ltd.
                                                                                                    (A Govt. of India Undertaking)
                                         Best Practices in Distribution Loss Reduction
                          Distribution Reform, Upgrades and Management (DRUM) Training Program

Defective metering, billing and collection functions.

These losses are not due to any deliberate actions of the customers.

They are due to internal shortcomings and hence are that much easier to tackle.

They thrive due to the fact that the boards did not function on commercial lines though
they were supposed to do so.


There are many services unmetered. A large scale drive is necessary to bring all
unauthorized consumers on to the rolls. Such drive in Andhra Pradesh during a single
month of June 2000 resulted in metering of 20 lakh new consumers and regularization
of 2.57 lakh agricultural services.

The Act contemplates metering of all the services within 2 years and visualizes action
on the company and the individual officers responsible for lapses. So unequivocal
instructions are to be issued to not to release any new service without meter. All the
existing unmetered services shall be stopped to be so immediately. The utility should
concentrate on purchasing of adequate quantity of meters both for fresh services and
for replacement of the defective meters in the existing services. Purchasing of other
materials shall be given low priority, if the financial position demands it. Other materials
can be purchased by the consumers.

Unmistakable instructions are to be given on the standards to be adopted at the time of
releasing of new services. The service wire is to be brought in a pipe which shall be
visible throughout and end in the meter box with a gland. The meter, preferably
electronic, shall be fixed in a box visible and accessible from outside. The meter shall
be fixed in a box at a height of 5’to 6’ from the ground. The particulars of seal bits used
are to be noted and attested by the consumer. Proper earthing is needed at the
installation. This earth, body earth and neutral are to be clubbed up on the meter board.
If all these precautions are taken, possibility for theft and defective metering are
reduced drastically.

An exhaustive note on releasing of high value services is given separately.

The meters tend to get sluggish over a period of time. Old meters are to be replaced in
a phased manner by high accuracy meters, specially for high value services and at
places where the load varies substantially.

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  Institution Logo                                                                     Power Finance Corporation Ltd.
                                                                                                 (A Govt. of India Undertaking)
                                          Best Practices in Distribution Loss Reduction
                           Distribution Reform, Upgrades and Management (DRUM) Training Program

C.T. meters are to be adopted in stead of whole current meters for L.T. high value

A comprehensive energy audit will pinpoint the areas of high commercial losses.
Important services, feeders and towns are to be taken up early for this exercise.
Actually, the biggest ever theft case was detected while on one such exercise.

Following are the general defects observed in metering.

      Many stuck up meters are allowed for years.
      For a good number of services, no readings are furnished by the meter reader, at
       times, continuously.
      Constant nil consumption cases are reported without any comment.
      There are progressive readings in disconnected services.
      There is considerable voltage drop in metering cables.
      The meter capacity and the load have no relation.
      Wrong multiplication factors are adopted. After the M. F. is changed, it is not
       intimated to the billing agency.


Correct billing and timely serving will go a long away in improving the collections. The
normal complaints in the billing process are: non receipt/ late receipt of bills, receiving of
wrong bills, wrong reading/ status, table readings and wrong calculations. All these can
be avoided in a single go by going for computerized spot billing as is already done in
some states. This can be introduced in stages starting from cities. A thorough
understanding by the readers on the various statuses of the meter is a sine qua non for
the success of the system.

Common billing software adoption is to be achieved so as to have a meaningful control,
review, storage and retrieval of the consumer database. Even the application of CAT
would be more effective this way.

Monthly billing is to be achieved for the convenience of the consumer and also for
psychological reasons. Stringent checks are to be adopted in the billing process so as
to plug the leaks.

The first bill is not issued or is issued late in many cases. The customer service number
is to be noted on the meter at the time of issue in the section office.

The utilities adopt the last 3 months average in case of abnormal meter status. A meter
becomes initially sluggish and then slowly drifts to stuck up position. So the last three
months average would not give a correct picture of the consumption. A study in A. P.
revealed that the utilities are annually losing scores of crores on this count alone.

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  Institution Logo                                                                      Power Finance Corporation Ltd.
                                                                                                  (A Govt. of India Undertaking)
                                           Best Practices in Distribution Loss Reduction
                            Distribution Reform, Upgrades and Management (DRUM) Training Program

Very high consumption when compared to the similar connected loads indicates
unauthorized additional loads. The services, where the standard deviation in
consumption is less than 2%, are to be targeted. Similar action when there is abnormal
variation. Constantly getting less than minimum in good areas should attract our

The power distribution companies have a unique advantage of contacting millions of
citizens at least once in a month. This is to be utilized fully to explain the latest initiatives
and seek their support in their own interest and in the interest of the company. The
Tirupathy based company spared some space in the reverse of the bill to an advertiser
and thus the bill making cost is saved.


Unbundling and corporatisaion will give a real boost for the collection effort. Every
citizen would feel it to be her normal duty to pay for the commodity she purchased. The
poor now have a tendency to feel that they have a natural right to enjoy the government
bonanza. But even the poorest man will not dream of having a soap freely from the
seller. After reforms, there was phenomenal increase both in demand and in collection
percentage in A. P.

Increased customer convenience shall be the guiding factor for smooth collections.
Drop box facilities and roping in more collection agencies make the lengthy queues
vanish. E seva centers are a relief to the customer as around 25 types of bills are
accepted in a cool atmosphere at convenient hours in the holidays too. On line facilities
like icici bill junction are extended.

Special collection drives, coupled with intensive inspections, in the areas where the
payment history was bad, brought terrific results. Effective disconnection of defaulters
shall be a norm rather than a chance occurrence. CAT is to be applied and high arrears
services are to be targeted. Class F services, where the consumer is availing supply
without any payment from last one year are to be initially tackled for more impact.
Reversal entries in the case of non paying consumers demand immediate attention.

The worst villages are to be adopted by DPE and vigilance wings and make them as
model villages. This will be a spark for others to act.

Every house shall have the service connection no. painted at the pole, gate and meter.
In fuse off call offices, before attending a fuse off call, they verify the defaulters’ list.
Only when these two conditions are fulfilled, the complaint would be attended.

The electricity revenue officials are to work and they are to be pin pointed for poor
collections. The revenue recovery act is to be made use of. There shall be compulsory
and immediate prosecution in the case of bounced cheques. It is interesting to note that

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   Institution Logo                                                                      Power Finance Corporation Ltd.
                                                                                                   (A Govt. of India Undertaking)
                                        Best Practices in Distribution Loss Reduction
                         Distribution Reform, Upgrades and Management (DRUM) Training Program

no witness, except the bounced cheque, is necessary for imprisoning the offender
promptly, in these cases.

The problem of fraud ever lingers on in the collection process. In one case, a single
employee in electricity revenue office could knock off more than one crore rupees in
about a year. Computerized monitoring system will help here.

Increased booking of cases on thieves and defaulters will bring real change in collection
scenario. Anti power theft police stations (APTS) to deal exclusively with these cases
are desirable to have any meaningful effect.

The role of users’ associations, panchayats and franchisees in billing and

The electricity act 2003 visualizes the role of Users’ Associations, cooperatives,
panchayats and franchisees in electricity distribution management especially in rural

The concept of payment for the power consumed can be successfully inculcated if more
people are involved in the process and if a sense of belonging to and stake in the entity
is created.

This is actually a continuation of the earlier concept, which was successfully
implemented in some countries in the sectors of electricity, financing, sugar and
irrigation. Here much depends on the leadership, which takes up the issue. In A.P. only
half of the cooperative electric societies are somehow pulling on and the other half are
recently merged with the concerned distribution companies. Loksatta, a voluntary
organization, is trying to take up certain areas now. One major workers’ union, which
was all the while supporting the reforms vehemently, is planning of plunging into this
work in a big way. ZLRI is taking up this work in Orissa.

A sincere effort should be made to induct mass leaders of integrity into this movement.
Otherwise, large rural stretches in India have no hope of enjoying quality supply and
required system growth for the onset of full scale integrated development of India.

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