No let up in protests against smart meter installation in Srinagar areas

Srinagar, May 30: The protest against the installation of smart meters hardly seems to be dying down in Srinagar as the PDD authorities have now intensified the process of snapping electricity to the areas resisting the move.

On Monday, the residents from the Batamaloo area of Srinagar, while protesting against the installation of smart meters said the electricity in their area has been snapped for the last several days. They had resisted the move by the Power Development authorities.

Opposing the installation of smart meters, the protesters, mostly women, said that they cannot pay “hefty” bills generated by smart meters, citing poor financial conditions.

“We cannot afford the smart meter billing. Our income is very nominal as the majority of the people in our area are either working as salesmen, auto-rickshaw drivers or roadside vendors. We hardly manage the school fee of our children,” said a group of protesting ladies.

Anguished over the snapping of the power supply, the protesters said they have many ailing people in the area who are on oxygen support and need electricity for life support machines.

“The reason for snapping the electricity here is smart meters; our area is so downtrodden that it is supported by a locally established charitable institution. How can one afford the bills of smart meters,” said a lady.

Earlier this month, after the death of a person from Mir Mohallah, Soura in Srinagar, the residents of the area alleged that the person died after the PDD authorities snapped the electricity.

Resisting the move of installation of the smart meters in Srinagar areas, multiple protests have been reported so far in the city. The protestors have been citing low income and unemployment as reasons to oppose the move.

However, reacting to the public opposition to the installation of smart meters, Kashmir Power Development Corporation Limited (KPDCL) authorities have resorted to the snapping of electricity.

Meanwhile, the Chief Engineer PDD Distribution Kashmir said that they only snap electricity to the areas that resist the installation of smart meters.

“It is not just always that people are resisting the move. The snapping of electricity is pressed only in the areas that resist the installation. So far, we have installed around one lakh ten thousand meters but not everyone protested,” he said.kno

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