SRINAGAR, FEB 22 – Residents of Ganpatyar Habba Kadal area of Srinagar on Wednesday staged a protest demonstration against the “installation of smart electric meters in the locality.”
Scores of women came out on the road, raising slogans in favor of their demands while urging the concerned department not to go ahead with the move of installing the smart meters-a drive that is ongoing in various Kashmir areas.
“We are poor and our men are making their ends meet through labour and we will not be able to pay the hefty bills that will be generated after the installation of the smart meters,” one of the protesting women said.
The protesters said that even the current bills are not easy to pay given their financial conditions and questioned how they would be able to pay huge bills.
Manzoor Ahmad, a protester said, “Sometimes we are not getting the power supply for days together and still the department is delivering us tariff bills, and we are paying the same.”
He said locals won’t allow authorities to install these meters at any cost that will make their conditions much worse.
Another protestor said that they don’t have issues with the current system of installed meters as they are paying the bills despite power outages.
The protesting residents urged administration to revisit the decision of installation of smart meters in the area.
Meanwhile, the process of installing smart meters began in December 2020 to control electricity thefts. The Jammu and Kashmir government has set the target of installing four lakh smart meters in union territory by 2023.
Notably, several areas of Kashmir valley have also protested in the past against the installation of smart meters.
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