Nagpur: A curious case of safer exit through power of political approach has surfaced with the builder of Nirmal Nagari, the township which was recently raided by SNDL for major power theft. The Builder of Nirmal Nagari was not only found stealing electricity but was also running a virtual private electric distribution company and issuing his own electricity bills to the residents of the township. In legal terms this is a serious criminal offence under the Electricity Act. It could be mentioned here that recently SNDL unearthed biggest power theft at Nirmal Nagari. The builder was distributing private power bills to residents. The vigilance team of Spanco Nagpur Discom Ltd (SNDL) unearthed one of the biggest power-theft in city ever worth crores of rupees at Nirmal Nagari residential project at Nandanwan.
Some of the prominent citizens have a query that what are the circumstances or pressure that has prevented SNDL from taking any action against the Nirmal Nagari builder?
Offence of forgery
Talking to Nagpur Today, President of Nagpur Bar Association Advocate Prakash Jaiswal claimed that the builder of Nirmal nagari has committed the offence and a penal action should have been initiated against the builder. He added that under the new amendment, if the assessed amount of fraud or electricity theft is below Rs 1 lakh, the Chief Executive Engineer has powers to settle the matter with monetary penalty.
However, since the Builder of Nirmal Nagari has been involved in power theft for such a long time, the assessment will obviously be more than lakhs of rupees. Jaiswal also claimed that if the consumers of the power residing in Nirmal Nagari lodge a complaint that they were issued bills that were generated by the Builder of Nirmal Nagari, it will automatically become an offence of forgery.
Role of Energy Minister?
If sources are to be believed some minister who happens to hail from Nagpur is directly involved and had asked the Energy Minister to intervene in this matter. The Energy Minister had allegedly called the SNDL Officials not to press charges and to settle the matter.
The ‘current’ of influence
Taking this case into account, one would wonder if a normal citizen is caught for electricity theft, a legal or penal action is immediately initiated against him. The power connection is severed and he will have to undergo the entire process of applying for a fresh Electric Meter paying all the deposits etc. To add to this, the common man has to face public humiliation and has to go through mental trauma.
Sources claimed that since no official complaint has been registered against the builder by the SNDL officials so far, the power supply which was severed during the raid has been reconnected or started again.
The Goof Up
Earlier, SNDL team swooped at Nirmal Nagari at night hours and were shocked to discover that the entire project which contains around 700-900 flats, 40 bungalows, 150 shops were stealing power.
Sources informed that a Power sub-station with capacity of 33 KV was installed at the township to smooth power supply to the residents. However, the builder had provided power directly from the Distribution Point (DP) without any billing. The builder himself installed his own meters at the bungalows and was generating own power bills for the residents, which is the forgery as only MSEDCL or its franchise can generate the bills. Sources informed that the builder constructed huge temple in the premises and the whole construction and lightning works was done using power illegally.
The builder had laid power-line directly from DP, the sources added. Motor, crane, crusher machine, grinding machine were being run on stolen power.
The builderhad applied for the disconnection of the temporary meters which were installed for the construction works. And as the SNDL disconnected the meters, the builders allegedly started his own power supply to flats of the scheme through the meters.
By Samuel Gunashekran