Baramulla, Mar 4: The residents of Pattan in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district staged a massive protest against the installation of smart meters on Saturday.
The protesters, mostly women, blocked the Srinagar-Baramulla highway for couple of hours near receiving station Pattan and urged the UT administration to rollback the decision to install the smart meters as they have been going through economic distress.
“It is extremely difficult for us to pay electricity charges as per new tariff,” said Khalida Begum, of NihalporaPattan “A labourer who hardly finds 20 days work in a month cannot afford to pay electricity charges as per new tariff. The ninety percent population here comprises of labourers,” added Khalida.
Following protest and blocking of the Srinagar-Baramulla highway, scores of vehicles were seen stranded for several hours. Latter local administrative officials besides Jammu and Kashmir police rushed to the spot and gave assurance to the protesting people that their grievances will be taken up with the top officials.
The UT administration is poised to install over four lakh smart meters. The installation of smart meters is likely to generate comprehensive revenue to the PDD department besides it could play decisive role in ending the power theft.