Mumbai : In the sixth massive raid of the year, about 45 vigilance officers of BEST nabbed 21 people in Dharavi slums on Tuesday for theft of electricity. In the past six months, BEST has registered about 1,324 cases of electricity theft as compared to 1,545 detected in 2013-14.

Apart from the rise of electricity theft cases, BEST has also discovered new areas which are prone to electricity theft. The vigilance department is coming down heavily on these new ‘Bijli Mafia’ stronghold which include Darukhana in Mazgaon.

Darukhana in Mazgaon is the new hub where local goons are operating water pumps on illegal electricity connections.

Chief vigilance officer of BEST, R J Singh, said, “We have kept a constant watch on Darukhana area over the past two months. There have been two raids conducted in which 40 water pumps were sealed and handed over to Sewree police.” The vigilance team has claimed Rs 6 lakh alone from this area.

The official further explained that illegal electricity connection is mostly used for operating water pumps by local goons. “These goons then sell this water to people in the vicinity,” he added.

There have been six massive raids conducted which includes one at Darukhana, two each in Antop Hill and Dharavi.

The BEST officials are also carrying out campaigns encouraging people to legalising their electricity connect.

At Wadala transit camp about 200 forms are under process while another 150 connections are in process at Reay Road. “We are also changing the connections to electronic meter as we raid their premises,” added an official.

Iram Siddique

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