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Illegal power connections become rampant across country

07 February 2023

Staff reporter  :
Amid the alarming electricity situation from the last year, electricity theft cannot be stopped. To prevent losses, the government is repeatedly increasing the price of electricity. The continuous increase in the price of electricity imposes huge pressure on the common people.
It is alleged many of the officials and employees of the power distribution sector have been involved to facilitate the illegal connections in the name of system loss. To cover the losses due to theft they harassed customers by ghost bills.
Temporary shops on footpaths including vegetable shops, fish and fruit shops, motor garages, book stalls, hotels run their fans, and lights through illegal electricity connections and officials of distribution companies are providing those connections.
According to the source, Dhaka North and South City Corporation have footpath covering an area of about 163 km. About 500,000 illegal electric lights are burning electricity in 350,000 shops on these sidewalks. For each illegal lamp Tk 30 per day is being charged. This means per day Tk 15 lakh being illegally collected, and Tk 540 crore at the end of the year.
Significant portion of those illegally collected money from the shops on footpaths and roads are going into the pockets of dishonest employees of electricity distribution companies.
However, regarding those illegal electric connections, Dhaka Power Distribution Company Limited (DPDC) and Dhaka Electric Supply Company Limited (DESCO) authorities have no official record.
It is claimed that about 30 MW of electricity is stolen from DPDC daily. The system loss of the DPDC is 7 per cent and DESCO's is 5.58 per cent.
Despite the gradual reduction of system loss in last few years, in FY 2020-21 the rate of system loss was 11.11 per cent which was much higher than the internationally accepted standard.
According to the energy experts, if there is a 1 percent system loss in electricity, the monetary loss is more than the Tk 700 crore. As a result, Bangladesh wasted more than Tk 3500 crore in every year due to system loss.
In a study, Consumers Association of Bangladesh (CAB) said that power theft played a significant role in increasing the deficit in the power sector.
According to electricity and energy experts, if the authority prevents electricity theft it will save more electricity than being saved by 1 hour daily load shedding across the country.
 As a result, the percentage of system loss will be significantly reduced and this will impact positively on reducing the price of electricity which has been increased 12th times in the past 13 years, experts added.

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