Lucknow: The Uttar Pradesh government is likely to adopt Gujarat model to prevent power theft which is rampant in rural areas and unauthorised colonies in major towns in the state. People using Katia and other unlawful means to illuminate their houses may face jail term, as provided in the Gujarat power policy.
Chief minister Yogi Adityanath, unlike his predecessor, has taken a serious note of it as power theft has badly affected availability of power to genuine customers in the countryside. He has to take some harsh measures also because he has promised 24-hour power supply by the end of next year across the state and it will not be possible without reducing the line losses.
The government has already signed a Memorandum of Understanding in this regard which means that it is not an empty promise. The state requires as much 15,000 Megawatts of power daily to fulfill the promise which can be met by import and the state's own generation. The private sector makes a large contribution to total power generation in the state.
Genuine consumers who have been provided amnesty and helped in some other ways by the government may assist the government in its effort to check this unlawful activity. They may prevail upon these " thieves" who have been causing immense losses to industry and farm sectors.
Under the amnesty scheme, the government has given two moths' time to power connection holders to clear the dues which have risen ,including surcharge, to as much as Rs 15,000 crores. The surcharge payable on the dues will be waived to encourage defaulters to clear the dues. This large total is indicative of the fact that adequate preventive measures were not taken in the past.
The government has set limit of 45 days for the urban consumers to clear the principal amounts payable to the electricity authorities.