KATHMANDU, Nov 15: Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) is planning to reward informants tipping off NEA offices about power theft.
The power utility is preparing to provide 20 percent of the amount mobilized from wrongdoers as incentive to anyone who reports about power theft.
NEA plans to publish a notice, which will implement the provision enshrined in the Electricity Leakage Control Rule, 2059 BS, within few days. It is a part of a broader campaign initiated by the power utility in recent days to improve electricity supply, according to NEA Spokesperson Prabal Adhikari.“"To be eligible for the incentive, informants must report the wrongdoing at NEA offices in a prescribed format”" he added.
The formats can be received from any NEA offices.
Reduction in power theft will help NEA in two ways; it saves energy and also increases tariff.
Anyone found using electricity through illicit means or stealing is charged for the loss that they would have inflicted on NEA for a year by calculating the load that they have consumed at the time of the raid. According to existing rules, the loss will be counted in monetary terms. On top of the recovery of loss, the power utility slaps a fine equivalent to the amount to be recovered.
Though incentive provisions were introduced more than a decade ago, they were not implemented citing practical difficulty. But the new management led by Kulman Ghising has pledged to implement it.
The power utility has already informed its offices across the country about the campaign to control power leakage. NEA officials will be mobilized in the field to control power theft from Tuesday itself, according to the sources privy to the issue.
The government has targeted to reduce its system loss by 3.5 percentage points from 25.78 percent in this fiscal year. Power theft is one of the major contributors of such loss, according to NEA sources. System loss increased to 25.78 percent in 2015/16 compared to 24.44 in 2014/15.
NEA technicians say modus operandi of power theft ranges from meter tempering to hooking.
A high-level committee has been formed under Sandip Kumar Dev, joint secretary of the Ministry of Energy, to prepare a detailed plan for reducing system loss. The committee has also proposed to the NEA board to provide such incentives to NEA staffers so that they spring into action immediately after receiving tip-off.“"NEA staffers are an integral part of this plan. We have recommended allocating half of the incentive to encourage staffers working under NEA's Distribution and Consumer Service Directorate”" added Dev.
The committee comprises of Netra Gyawali, the chief of Electrical Department of Institute of Engineering, TU; and NEA managers Brajbhusan Chaudhary, Bijay Chaudhary and Jayraj Bhandari.