Electricity Theft: A major problem in Kashmir

Published at February 10, 2019 12:02 AM 0Comment(s)4122views

Zubair Farooq

 Theft of electricity is the criminal practice of stealing electrical power. It is very common in Kashmir.

According to a study, 80 percent of worldwide theft occurs in private dwellings and 20percent on commercial and industrial premises. The various types of electrical power theft include:


Direct hooking from line

It is generally called “Cable Hooking” and is the most used method. About 80percent of global power theft is by direct tapping from the line.

The consumer taps into a power line from a point ahead of the energy meter and thus this energy consumption is unmeasured.

In Kashmir, direct hooking from line is a common method of stealing electricity, which is due to:

  • Overhead transmission and distribution system
  • Lack of insulation in wires
  • Location of utility pole


(i) Bypassing the energy meter

In this method, the input terminal and output terminal of the energy meter is short-circuited, preventing the energy from registration in the energy meter.

(ii) Injecting foreign element into the energy meter

(iii) Physical obstruction

(iv) ESD attack on electronic meter

According to Central Electricity Authority (CEA) 2018 report: “The total installed capacity of Jammu and Kashmir is 3389.21MW, with three ownerships viz State (1534.03 MW), Private (59.85MW), Central (1795MW).”

According to JKSPDC, the estimated hydro power potential of the state is 20,000 Megawatts (MW), of which only 3263.46 MW that is approximately 19.80 percent have been exploited so far. So the maximum electricity we get is from hydropower plants.

Since the power output from any hydropower plant is mainly a function of discharge (quantity of water), but in Jammu and Kashmir the rivers are mainly snow fed and the water capacity decreases in winter.

Mainly the peak demand occurs in the months of summer, but in Kashmir the peak load demand occurs in the winter months (because of heating purposes). So, the total load is compensated mainly by thermal power plants.

Now when such kind of stealing occurs the load demand touches the sky which emphasis load on thermal power plants, generally we consume less than 5KW per day (per house hold with normal load), because of tariff issues.

On stealing, the bandit consumes more than the normal consumption, as a great saying “muftuksharabchuchamutkazew”. This stealing of electric power is due to unawareness and we are connecting this theft with the shortage of power, which is totally savage.

  1. According to Quran it is a major sin because of:

(I) Stealing and utilising electricity unlawfully (one of the Hudud crime).

(II)Degradation of earth: This may be surprising, how stealing of electricity degrades environment. If an analysis is done per kw of electricity emits 0.7 kg of carbon dioxide (fossil fuel fired power plants). As I quote the peak demand in winter is mainly compensated by thermal power plants.

On stealing, bandit utilises power more than 7 KW per day (as it tariff free), which can lead to dramatic changes (as emission of carbon dioxide is a function of units generated), means if a bandit consumes some units (KW) extra, it increase’s load of generating station to generate extra units, which in turn increases the carbon dioxide emission (more power generation means more input required, more input required means more emission of greenhouse gases, and hence more degradation occurs) and blame is for the person who thefts the electricity.

Allah has created this earth) and we don’t have any vested right to degrade it. Many Verses of Quran is directly related to sustainability, some of them are quoted below:

  • “Do not damage the earth,” Al-Baqarah Verse 11
  • “Allah dislike destruction,” Al-Baqarah Verse 205
  • “Allah dislike the person who cause destruction,” Al-Maidah Verse 64
  • “Don't you cause destruction on earth,” Al-A‘raf Verse 54,85
  • “Do not act reign destructively on earth, causing mischief,” Al-A‘raf Verse 74


According to Law it is an offense and action is taking Under Part XII Section 86 (1-6) (Jammu and Kashmir electricity Act 2010).

Local issues of stealing electricity:

  • It reduces GDP
  • It causes problem in distribution transformer’s, one of the main problems in Kashmir
  • Power cuts

“…most of the damage we cause to the planet is the result of our own ignorance,”YvonChouinard.



Author studies at JamiaMilliaIslamia, New Delhi




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