New smart meters, cables soon to curb power theft



Shahid Abbas


The PTI government has decided to install smart electricity meters and new ABC cables across the country in order to reduce the power thefts incidents. Sources stated that a comprehensive strategy has been prepared in this regard and soon these smart meters and ABC cables would be installed at IESCO and LESCO.

Government is fully committed to reduce the power sector circular debt that was currently figured to Rs. 150 billion. For this smart electricity meters and new ABC cables would be installed across the country.

The stealing of electricity was a key issue in Pakistan. This is done through direct hooks (installed before a meter) which are also often overlooked by the ground staff of power distribution companies, who facilitate people in this crime.

According to a NEPRA report, Peshawar Electric Supply Company, along with the Hyderabad, Quetta, Sukkur, Tribal and Lahore electric supply companies have the highest percentage of stealing, and are the root cause of the circular debt.

The main objective of installing ABC cables is to improve old defective system of electricity and to reduce power thefts incidents. The planned project would be completed in five year time period and an amount of 5 billion $ to spend on this project.

Sources stated that concerned ministry would consult with Asian Development Bank for the completion of this project. The last government of PML-N had also initiated such kind of projects in past.  Currently the government needs to allocate dedicated police investigative officers and magistrates to the companies where theft is at its peak, and ensure crackdowns to bring this issue to an end.