Electricity theft is a big problem in India and it wont be wrong to say that electricity boards nationwide have failed to keep a check on the theft.
Haryana electricity board probably took a cue from web2.0 world and used the crowdsourcing model to clean up the system.
The theft informer scheme, launched by the southern Haryana electricity distribution agency in January this year, has so far received 8,500 complaints about the power theft in the region.
The agency has detected 1,400 theft incidents, involving a penalty of Rs.28.5 million, based on the information it got from the public.
‘Keeping in mind the increased interest of informers in the scheme, we have increased the incentive to the informer from 20 percent to 40 percent of the recovered amount of penalty, and now there is no maximum limit of the incentives, – source
Essentially, it was incentive based scheme which got the users hooked in – if not for incentive, the entire scheme wouldn’t have worked!
And that makes me wonder – Does crowdsourcing works only with a proper incentive? Or, given the right platform – will people contribute for free (e.g. wikipedia, and to a certain extent, NextBigWhat.com)?
Is that why most of the socionets run dry in India (lack of good platform/incentive)?
What’s your opinion?