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War on electricity, water theft nowhere over

May 10,2018 - Last updated at May 10,2018

Chief Commissioner of the Energy and Minerals Regularity Commission (EMRC) Farouq Hiyari told the Jordan News Agency, Petra, recently that the war against electricity theft is being won, as the first four months of 2018 witnessed a decline in electricity theft cases by 13 per cent compared with the same period last year.

Yet, the number of theft cases remains high despite a seemingly reduced frequency as the number of electricity theft cases during the first four months of this year totalled 7,441 while the number was as high as 8,554 for the same period of 2017.

While the EMPRC and the various electricity distribution companies can take pride in their successes in fighting electricity thefts, the number remains too high. This suggests that whatever is being done to combat the theft of electricity is not near enough. This also means that law-abiding users of electricity are indirectly paying for the stolen electricity as their bills continue to surge year in and year out for a variety of reasons, including no doubt high energy costs, but also because so much electricity is being stolen.

What additional measures can be taken to end this national crisis and drain on the country's energy resources remains elusive. This is where the public's intervention and assistance is urgently needed. Without the vigilance and support of the public, electricity, just like water, would continue to be stolen by some people who think they can  still steal and get away with it.

The punishment for stealing electricity or water needs to be stricter and methods to combat the phenomena need to be revisited with a view to making them much more effective.

As is, the country could be winning the battle against stealing electricity, but the war against it is nowhere over.

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