The BSES discoms in Delhi have reported theft of about 88,000 litres of oil from transformers in the past 18 months, resulting in power supply disruptions in many areas, an official said. The oil was stolen from more than 120 transformers in last 18 months. Besides being a safety hazard, removing oil from transformers causes outages and monetary loss, a spokesperson said. A special oil is used in transformers for cooling purposes. Up to 900 litres of oil can be used depending on the size of the transformers, an official said. "The BSES discoms are using surveillance and technology to contain the menace," the spokesperson said.
In the last 18 months, oil amounting to around 88,000 litres has been stolen from over 120 transformers in BSES areas. Of these, around 40 cases are since April 2020 onwards, the spokesperson said. Leaking oil from a transformer can also lead to a fire incident and the BSES has taken these incidents very seriously and registered FIRs in various police stations, the spokesperson stated.
"More recently, oil thieves were caught red-handed while trying to steal oil from a distribution transformer in Subhash Mohalla in east Delhi. A similar case of oil theft was reported even last week from Lodhi Road," the spokesperson said. During the last few months, oil has been stolen from transformers located in several areas of south, west, east and central Delhi, said the BSES spokesperson.
"In south and west Delhi, these pockets are located in Paschim Vihar, Punjabi Bagh, Palam, Mayapuri, Janakpuri, Mundka, Tagore Garden, Dwarka among others. In east and central Delhi, these pockets are located in Mansarovar Park, Rani Jansi Marg, GTB Enclave, Nand Nagri, Shastri Park, Jafrabad, Jagatpuri, Subhash Mohalla, Kalyanpuri and Vinod Nagar," the spokesperson said. BSES is closely working with the Delhi Police to crackdown on this menace. It has been observed that thieves are able to steal oil from live transformers, even when they are properly locked and surrounded by steel fencing, the official said.
Increased vigilance, especially during the night hours, cooperation of RWAs, deployment of quick response teams,installation of internet based sensors on transformers in select vulnerable pockets, are some other methods being used to check oil theft, the spokesperson said. Also MOGs (Magnet Oil Gauge) have been retrofitted in around 1,200 transformers. The moment oil level goes below a certain threshold, the transformer trips automatically, protecting it, as also alerting the control centre, the spokesperson added.