Srinagar: Residents of Gojwara area in Downtown here staged a protest on Thursday against installation of Smart Meters in the area.
The residents assembled at Gojwara Chowk and blocked the road. All shops and business establishments in and around Gojwara Chowk were shut.
“Government is installing Smart Meters without ascertaining if people can afford to pay exorbitant bills. We are not government employees. We have days when we go without earning anything. How are we supposed to pay hefty power bills? We are already trying to come to terms with the recent ration scheme, which has left us craving for meals. As these meters became functional yesterday, we have stopped using electricity as we cannot afford to pay bills.” said a female protester.
“Belonging to the poor section of society, we are being warned that if we don't comply with smart-meter-installation, our power connections will be cut off. This is sheer injustice,” said another resident, adding that they could hardly afford earlier flat electricity rates.
“We request the government to repeal this move because power bills would exceed our monthly income,” they said.
The protesters said that they have been protesting continuously. We will continue protests unless our demand is met,” they said.
Meanwhile, traffic was affected in Downtown areas for several hours due to the protest.