KPDCL lodges FIR against hampering installation of Smart Meters at Raj Bagh

KPDCL lodges FIR against hampering installation of Smart Meters at Raj Bagh
Women clearing broken Smart Meters which were damaged as people registered protests against their installation. [File] Screengrab

Srinagar: Following resentment against installation of Smart Meters at Raj Bagh area here, the Kashmir Power Distribution Corporation Limited (KPDCL) has lodged an FIR seeking action against the residents who hampered the meter installation process.

The FIR 37/2022 has been lodged at Raj Bagh Police Station on the complaint of Assistant Executive Engineer (AEE) KPDCL, Rajbagh, Zubair Hanan against the residents for breaking Smart Meters and hindering meter installation process.

The FIR mentions that the installation of meters was hampered by some unscrupulous persons damaging the meters and manhandling the staff.

To mention, protests against installation of Smart Meters were held at Rajbagh locality. They fear that Smart Meters will generate hefty bills.

An official said the FIR was lodged so that proper action can be taken against those who were involved in manhandling staff and breaking meters.

“The executing agency had bought fresh meters in autos. Scores of those meters were taken out forcibly by protesting people and damaged. It has hindered the process of meter installation, damaged equipment, and also put our staff on the ground at risk,” an official said.

The KPDCL which is the Project Management Agency for Smart Meter installation has also sought the support of the police in this regard. Officials from KPDCL have been facing resistance in some pockets of Srinagar and the installation of meters is going in most of the areas. They said that the people need to be aware that Smart Meters are for the good of everyone as it will ensure uninterrupted power supply and accountability.

AEE Rajbagh Zubair Hanan said that the FIR was lodged after project Implementation Agency apprised that their staff was stopped and Smart Meters were also broken when they tried to install these.

“Unfortunately there is misconception about Smart Meters and the protest was done on that basis. The Smart Meters were also broken. Although we tried to make people understand and clear the misconception but no one listened,” Hanan said.

To mention, many areas of Srinagar witnessed protests in the past few months over the installation of smart meters. The residents are saying that there will be hefty bills generated by smart meters that they cannot afford.

Over a month ago installation of smart electricity meters sparked protests in the Chanapora locality of Srinagar. Later the protests sparked in Aalochi Bagh area of Srinagar. In the latest protest in Rajbagh, the PDD has lodged FIR in this regard.

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