GILGIT (ET): The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) launched a crackdown against power theft in Gilgit on Thursday, disconnecting illegal connections to some ministers’ offices on the first day.
The crackdown was a part of the federal government’s countrywide drive against power theft.
The FIA task force, led by Deputy Director Babar Khan, first raided Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B) Education Directorate and cut off illegal connections going to the offices of Education Minister Ali Madad Sher, director colleges and director education.
Sher left his office soon after as the operation was conducted in the presence of the public and media.
According to an official on duty, the illegal connections supported at least 11 air conditioners in the offices.
The team then went to the Public Works Department (PWD) office and severed illegal connections to the offices of G-B Finance Minister Mohammad Ali Akhtar, chief engineer Muhammad Shafie, secretary finance, secretary works and secretary water and power. At least six ACs installed in these offices were being run on illegal power supply.
According to unofficial statistics, power theft incurs a loss of about Rs150 million in G-B every month.
The team plans to continue the drive and extend it to other parts of G-B as well. The crackdown has been welcomed by residents in Gilgit, as the town is suffering from long power breakdowns.
The legislative assembly of G-B, during its last session, strongly criticised the allocation of ‘special electricity lines’ to certain individuals in G-B and asked the government to withdraw this facility to lessen load-shedding.