What if power outages in Delhi are reduced to zero in one year? No power cuts in 2007 is the prediction. But there’s a small snag: power thefts in the T&D loss capital of India need to go down to 15 per cent from about 98 per cent in some areas. Makes you wonder why they aren’t shutting off the transformers. Yes, North Delhi Power Ltd (NDPL) has considered that option, but it isn’t legal.
So, how do these thefts happen? In industrial areas like Bawana and Mongolpuri, ice-block makers do it at night and by force; NDPL investigators are beaten up. In residential areas like Rajpur Road, they do it by installing a "dubby"—a 7x5-inch box which stops the meter from running. There is an improved version too for electronic meters, complete with a switch and remote, which even makes the meter go back to the desired level.