The Punjab government has decided to take strict action against and swoop in on electricity thieves across the province.
In this regard, three committees have been formed to control and monitor electricity theft, which will comprise secretaries, commissioners, regional police officers, deputy commissioners, DPOs and WAPDA officers.
One of the committees has been formed on the provincial level with the energy department secretary appointed as its convener.
The joint secretary of the Power Division, industries secretary, the special secretary of the home department will be the members of the committee.
Other members of the committee will include the additional prosecution secretary, the Punjab additional inspector general of police (operations), as well as the LESCO chief executive officer.
The provincial committee will also include the chief executive officers (CEOs) of Faisalabad Electric Supply Company (FESCO), Gujranwala Electric Power Company (GEPCO), Multan Electric Power Company (MEPCO) and the Islamabad Electric Supply Company (IESCO) as its members.
The committee is likely to monitor the ongoing campaign against electricity theft. It will also identify the commercial consumers involved in electricity theft.
Moreover, in case of the district enforcement committees, the deputy commissioner concerned will be the Convener. Its members will include the district police officer (DPO) and an officer of the Special Branch of the police.
Thirdly, regarding the divisional implementation committee, the commissioner of the respective division will be its convener.
The regional police officer, and an officer each from the Special Branch and electricity company concerned will be its members.
A notification regarding the committees has been issued by the Punjab chief secretary.
Meanwhile, in its crackdown on electricity thieves and defaulters, GEPCO got 43 thieves arrested and a total of Rs2.3 million slapped a fines.
The chief engineer said they had got cases registered against the electricity thieves. Those arrested have been sent detection bills of 89,000 units by GEPCO.
In Faisalabad, as part of its ongoing drive against power theft, FESCO imposed fined worth over Rs4.5 million on another 57 people over their alleged involvement in electricity theft.
These thieves were caught stealing electricity. The authorities said applications have been submitted in the relevant police stations for action against these electricity thieves.
On the other hand, PESCO also continues its action against power thieves on the instructions of the prime minister.
There were however reports of resistance in Bannu and Karak. In the last 24 hours, more than 100 illegal connections were removed and legal action initiated against more than 200 people.
According to a spokesperson of PESCO, crackdown on electricity thieves is underway to reduce line losses. In the last 24 hours, more than 40 direct illegal connections were removed in the PESCO region.
Fines of more than Rs5 million were imposed in terms of electricity theft, while steps have been taken to get cases registered against more than 200 power thieves.
In the Bannu and Karak regions, suspected electricity thieves offered resistance as a result of which several were arrested.
On Friday, caretaker Energy Minister Muhammad Ali said that detailed deliberations were underway to control the price of electricity, and hoped that a decision will be finalized on the issue of relief in electricity bills by Monday.