Raj Bagh residents protest against installation of Smart Meters

Raj Bagh residents protest against installation of Smart Meters
Women clearing broken Smart Meters which were damaged as people registered protests against their installation. Screengrab

Srinagar: Installation of Smart Meters triggered massive protest at Rajbagh locality here.

The locals said that the PDD officials came to install smart meters in the area. Soon scores of locals, mostly women assembled on road and stage demonstrations against the move. The protesters broke several Smart Meters and shouted slogans against PDD.

The residents said that they are poor and lack basic facilities in their area. “We are poor and cannot afford bills generated by these Smart Meters. If government wants to install these meters, they should install these in the households that can afford bills.” said a female protester.

“Most of the protestors here have single bread earners and that too those who are doing menial jobs. Our children are jobless and how can they pay the hefty bills generated by these smart meters. We won’t allow installation of these smart meters and we will continue to hit roads f they force us,” said another female protester.

A PDD official of the concerned area said that “people have myths about smart meters and the meters won't generate hefty bills.”

"We came here to make people understand but no one is ready to understand. Smart Meter will only give new facilities and power supply will also be better. It is unfortunate that in some areas people are resisting this progress. Smart Meters are being installed under centrally sponsored scheme across whole country and this is for good of everyone," said the official.

Officials from PDD have been saying that they are facing some resistance in some pockets of Srinagar. 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.

Last month installation of smart electricity meters sparked protests at Chanapora and Aalochi Bagh localities.

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