LAHORE- Lahore Electricity Supply Company (Lesco) has started a campaign to install the digital electricity meters by replacing all the old PC-meters in its jurisdiction to avoid maximum power theft as already installed meters have failed in controlling power pilferage being conducted in connivance with the Lesco staffers, The Nation learnt. Lesco sources claimed the company had planned to install the new digital meters by replacing the old PC-meters that had been also a source of power pilferage causing revenue loss to Lesco. Defective planning by the high officials for spending the revenue of Lesco every year through budgetary allocations over materials including electricity meters could not get rid of power theft as the meters purchased by the company failed in achieving the task. The sources said Lesco employees involved in corruption always benefited from the defective planning of the high-ups who approved the purchase of such PC-meters that remained unable to resist the power theft. So far total seven circle offices of the company are replacing the old meters against the different complaints or discrepancies as registered by the field staffers of the Lesco. Some officers seeking anonymity accepted that no doubt discrepancies regarding registered electricity meters were being checked whether a discrepancy-registered meter was sticking or burnt intentionally with the involvement of employees. The game of burning a meter has been serious problem of revenue losses to the company as field staffers were found involved mostly in burning the meters when its reading reached at top. The sources alleged the meter readers and linemen are allegedly involved in the game of burning a meter of a consumer who had to pay the bill of heavy amount against the units he consumed. The Lesco staffers intentionally charge less units against the actual consumption and they (staffers) try to bargain with the consumers. When the meter reading multiplies in three to six months it becomes difficult for the consumers to pay the bill at once. A superintending engineer (SE) of the Lesco claimed the new digital meters would help save the consumed units of a meter even if it burns intentionally or unintentionally because the data of the consumed units could be downloaded from a chip fitted in the digital meters. Lesco Senior Manager Shakeel Ahmad informed that Lesco could not replace all the meters at once due to the problem of allocation of insufficient budget in this regard, adding the digital meters were being installed by replacing the old ones following the current budgetary allocations. He said no time frame could be given regarding replacement of the old meters due to the less budget in this regard. The estimate of revenue losses in shape of burning meters and sticking meters could be made through the data of only one circle of the Lesco which had replaced about 700 meters only in the last two months, the sources disclosed. The replaced meters are being accumulated at the regional store of Lesco as Regional Store Manager Shalimar Shahid confirmed so far no auction of the replaced meters was made but it would be announced soon. The sources added no comprehensive strategy was adopted by Lesco regarding estimation or collection of real consumed units of a burnt meter after replacing it, as just a formula of charging average units to a consumer against three months of last year is always used which does not help estimate the total cost of the consumed units.