Srinagar: The move of Kashmir Power Distribution Corporation Limited (KPDCL) to install Smart Meters is facing resistance from various areas in the summer capital.
Amid scorching heat, multiple protests were held across Srinagar areas in the past two days against the installation of Smart Meters.
In the latest protest on Wednesday, the installation of Smart electricity meters sparked protests at Tujgari Mohalla of Nowhatta. The locals said that the KPDCL officials came to install Smart Meters in the locality triggering protests
Scores of locals, mostly women, assembled on roads against the move to install Smart Meters in the area. The protesters said that they belong to poor families and cannot afford Smart Meters, which they said generates “exorbitant bills.”
“I have a handicapped son, and we have no stable source of income. We are finding it hard to feed ourselves. How are we going to afford to pay the huge bills generated by smart meters,” said an elderly female protester at Nowhatta.
The protesting residents said that most of the locals there are either roadside vendors or labourers. They said the government should consider the poor people of the society before the installation of meters.
The protestors said that the hike in cooking gas, and other commodities have already made life difficult for them, and this is adding to the issue.
The protesting locals said that they are living in Kiosks, and these government schemes have made their lives “miserable.”
Earlier on Tuesday, multiple protests were held at Tengpora Batamaloo, Makhdoom sahab area, Rajouri Kadal, and Wazpora against the installation of Smart Meters. The locals said that the authorities are installing meters without considering the economic condition of the locals.
“If they want to install the meters, they should first do a ground survey and check the condition of people. They come in a haphazard way and cut our electricity to install meters without informing locals. We are poor people who are hardly making ends meet. How can we survive when such policies are applied to poor populations,” said Ajaz Ahmad, a local at Rajouri Kadal.
The protestors appealed to the LG administration and officials of KPDCL to consider the economically weaker sections of Srinagar before installing smart meters.