T & D Losses

Originally posted on 4th March 2011 :

A few years ago, I was invited to participate in a seminar on the captioned subject. For those who may not be familiar with Electrical Engineering, the full form of the above acronym is ‘Transmission & Distribution Losses”

As expected, the most eminent engineers on the globe spoke about ‘conducting materials. transformers and high voltage DC transmission’. Much of what they said was either already known or so difficult to understand that we were none the wiser. The gentleman sitting next to me made a very valid observation,

“There is very little ‘power’ in the ‘point’ which this speaker has tried to make in his ‘power point’ presentation!”

Since the lunch was only due at the scheduled hour, we had no option but to suffer those jargon ridden speeches. And so we hung on.

Imagine our delight, when a non-technical journalist  who had never published a paper was allowed to say a few words. He started as follows,

“Ladies and Gentlemen! I have understood very little out of what I have heard. But, in my humble opinion, the problem has nothing to do with technology. It is a multi-dimensional societal issue, and you engineers can do very little to solve it.”

He then showed us pictures of how electric power can be easily stolen by simply throwing two latches on the cables at the right places.”. He declared,

“T & D may mean ‘transmission & distribution’ in your parlance, but in India it means ‘theft & dacoity’ ! “

Suddenly, there was life in the audience. The man at the podium was not as ignorant as we thought. He enlightened us on the actual situation on the ground. He told us about the ‘kundi’ (simply short circuiting the meter) and how reverse connections can make the meter move backwards. And he also told us about the enormous fortune which the illiterate employees make in the process.

Recently, I received a clip from Pakistan, which explains the above phenomenon in simple words. It is in the lighter vein, but please take it from me that all this is actually happening in India at the same scale.

If there is no power in the line, it is because it is stolen or misused. Technology cannot help. The citizens need to act!

This mail is specially addressed to  Janab Irfan Murtaza who is, by his own admission a universal ‘doast’ . He has a very effective method of expressing his thoughts, and I think he alone has the ‘strength’ to improve the ‘power situation’ on our sub-continent. For those who may remember the poem, “Jo bhi tha ky thorha tha?”

May the Lord in whatever form you believe His manifestation, bless you.

  1. vaibhavi says:

    you would think that such satire would get out the broom and sweep the society clean,but it has ever been the fate of satire that it changes nothing.If satire amended us we would be living in utopia.

  2. Bajaj says:

    The clip was superb.

    Our land, our language and our culture.

    Where did we go wrong?

  3. Kulbir Suri says:

    Thanks, Surjit. I enjoyed the piece immensely.

  4. VK Passi says:

    This Pakistani Link was hilarious!

  5. Amarjit Singh Behl says:

    You are so true about T&D losses in india

  6. Rajinder Bhatti says:

    Thanks. Very hilarious. I’ve fwd this to some friends who live in localities/villages where locals use kundis extensively.Lets see if they can have any influence on them.

  7. Raj Kadyan says:


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