Tral protests power tariff 'hike'; people observe half-day shutdown

Amid a half-day shutdown, people in Tral town staged a protest against the power tariff hike on Thursday.

Most shops in the town remained shut for half a day and the residents assembled in Tral Bala and staged a sit in. They later raised slogans to press for their demands and marched through the town.

The shutdown call was given by the Citizens Council Tral and Traders Federation Tral.

“We are getting inflated bills and people are facing problems. We requested the officials to look into the issue but no one listens to us,” one of the protesters said. However, the Power Development Department denied the allegation of hike in tariff.

Executive Engineer PDD, Pampore and Tral, Muhammad Altaf said, “There is no hike in tariff but there is a huge difference between connected load and used load in Tral.  Everyone there is using 5 to 6 KV with crude methods but we are only charging for 0.5 KV.”

He said the department was sending them revised bills, which was not more than Rs 200 extra for illegal usage of power. “Using crude methods in power theft is also causing damage to the transformers,” Altaf said. “We are facing 60 percent loss due to this illegal used load.”