The drive to identify and penalise power thieves was set rolling by the Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation Limited (UPPCL) on January 12 after Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, at a review meeting, asked powermen to minimise line losses and power theft.

Power officials told IANS that during the period 1.13 lakh new connections were installed and 1.19 lakh existing power connections were snapped as the consumers had not paid their bills.

Managing director of UPPCL A.P. Mishra said that till January 29, the load of 27,577  homes were increased and metres were replaced at 57,152 places. "During the drive, so far, we have successfully recovered arrears of Rs 180.crores," he added.

Maximum number of new connections - 13,674 - were provided in Azamgarh, Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Mulayam Singh Yadav's parliamentary constituency, followed by Allahabad (11,778) and Moradabad (10,111).

Additional Director General of police (ADG) GL Meena said that police were cracking down on power thieves based on inputs received by powermen. In the last 24-hours alone, 292 power theft cases, nine of them with serious irregularities, were discovered.

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