K-E concerns on theft of copper wire

Karachi: K-Electric (formerly KESC) has expressed great concern over theft of more than 96 tons of precious conductor copper wire from the utility’s network and installations during the year 2013.

In a Press statement issued here Tuesday, KE demanded of the authorities to take strict action on the 3432 complaints that K-Electric lodged with various police stations during the year. Police was still said to be investigating these crimes but sadly there have been no mentionable results.

K-Electric said that most of the times it was the junk dealers who had been found involved in the theft and buying of copper wire, like those who had been arrested by KE police on April 12. These junk dealers belonged to organized groups which planned and executed cutting and stealing of live copper wire from KE’s transmission and distribution network along with grid and sub stations.

Time and again, KE had exposed this involvement before the local authorities and law enforcement agencies, and even provided lists of such junk dealers with undeniable evidence, but, somehow, these junk dealers were still far away from the logical and legal action and continued to indulge in this anti-social crime.

According to the Press statement, during 2013, the financial loss that the incidents of copper wire theft incurred on K-Electric accumulated to Rs 101 million. But more important were the unexpected and sudden outages that took place at the linked localities because of tripping of circuits or grid stations caused by wire cutting. Also, it forced K-Electric to take up unnecessary extra maintenance work at the places of theft, instead of dedicating that time and effort to consumer complaints.

The Press statement revealed the region-wise detail of copper wire theft, its approximate price and the police reports lodged during the year 2013. According to that, a total of 10,369 kilograms of copper wire worth Rs 10.85 million had been stolen from Region 1, where a total of 290 intimation reports and FIRs had been registered in various police stations on KE’s behalf.

In this region, maximum number of theft incidents took place in Lyari, Baldia and Orangi and the rural areas of Hub. In Region 2, the stolen copper wire weighed at 43,713 kilograms which caused a total loss of Rs 44.92 million to KE, the highest. Most of these theft incidents took place in Defence, Clifton and PECHS. The number of police reports lodged in the police stations of that region stood at 1834. In Region 3, as much as 20,201 KGs of copper wire were stolen during the year which cost Rs 21.78 million. Landhi, Malir and Korangi were among the areas from where maximum theft incidents had been reported. In that region, KE lodged 487 complaints with the police.

In Region 4, the thieves stole 22,341 kilograms of copper wire, mostly from Gulshan-e-Iqbal, North Nazimabad, Nazimabad and New Karachi, which incurred a total loss of Rs 23.53 million. KE got 821 complaints registered with police in that region as well during the year 2013.

K-Electric said in the Press statement that it was the responsibility of the authorities to protect the utility’s installations and network from anti-social elements in order to help the public service utility function in a smooth manner. The unchecked continuation of copper wire theft from live power supply network not only created issues for the utility but also disturbed public life, and at times even forced law and order situation to arise. All this called for maximum support and protection to KE’s installations and system from the authorities and law enforcement agencies, the statement added.

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