State power minister Shrikant Sharma on Monday said that the Uttar Pradesh government is mulling a strict law to deal with power theft.
His statement came on a day when Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said that there will be no discrimination in supply of electricity in his regime.
The UP CM on Monday said in Lucknow that it was his government’s aim to provide power to the houses of all poor by 2018.
Sharma said that nobody, be it a government official or a VIP, will be spared if found guilty of power theft after June 15 and will attract a five years jail term.
He visited a number of substations in Kanpur on Monday and also held a meeting with electricity officials.
Later, speaking to media persons, he said the state government in determined to provide 24 hours power supply in the urban areas and 18 hours of electricity in villages.
If any person from industrial or commercial background is found guilty, strict action will be taken against him, Sharma said, adding even VIPs will not be spared under this law.
The minister further elaborated on the nuisance of power theft, saying the act of tapping electricity by connecting cable wires for personal use is just a common complaint.
The more serious form of theft includes running an industrial unit or enterprise while using a domestic connection, he said.
Sharma said the electrification process under this regime will be a fair process and no particular district will be favoured, like it was in the previous regime.
He also said that the urban consumers can now deposit 25 per cent of their arrears of power bills, a relief that was given to only rural consumers earlier.
The outstanding amount could be deposited in four instalments, he said. Small industries will also benefit under this scheme.