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Power theft continues to hit Indian economy, India needs sweeping reforms to curb the loss

<p>Power theft in India is a serious issue that the country has been trying to dealing with for years. The problem is found not just in the rural areas, but it is also rampant in the cities as well. Even though the government has achieved village electrification in all the villages in India, power theft is something that the government has failed to address adequately. As per the Central Electricity Authority, over 27 pc of all power produced in India is either lost due to dissipation from wires or theft. That&rsquo;s about 261,130 Gigawatt/hour of power annually- enough to light up New York for nearly two years. It is worth nearly INR 1 trillion at an average electricity rate of INR 4 per unit.</p> <p>The capital of India is dealing with serious issues of power theft. Nearly 60 pc of all power theft cases in Delhi are reported from a handful of areas such as Najafgarh, Burari, Bawana, Seelampur, Seemapuri, Azadpur, and Mahavir Enclave, says a report. In the last five years, over 30,000 cases of power theft &ndash; having a connected load of around 40,000 KW- have been reported in Delhi. According to power experts the city Discoms (distribution companies) lose somewhere between INR 10-15 bn annually because of power theft.</p> <p>However, unlike in Delhi where most of the areas where power thefts occured were poorer parts of the city, in Kolkata, much of the electricity theft in Kolkata had been in posh areas, according to a report by the Calcutta Electric Supply Corporation (CESC), in 2002. A raid conducted by the CESC had exposed that most of the power stolen by domestic consumers in Kolkata occurred in upmarket residential areas like Park Street, Shakespeare Sarani, and New Alipore.</p>