KASHMIR NEWS TRUST #KNT
Gojwara and its adjoining areas in old Srinagar city amid massive protest observed a shutdown against the installation of smart meters.
A large number of men and women hit to roads and expressed resentment against the government’s move to install smart meters which according to protesters are the source of fatty power bills.
The protesters blocked the traffic and shopkeepers downed their shutters. The protesters raised slogans against the implementation of the Smart City project and slammed the power department. “This power is generated on our rivers. The government is sending it to outside states. Then they increase tariffs here to buy power. How can we pay Rs 3,000- 5,000 bill for smart meters,” said an angry woman protester. Another protester said that they are poor people and can’t afford to live without using electric devices in the kitchen.
The protesters said that the generation of revenue through the installation of smart meters is yet another tactic to harass people. “There is so much inflation. Youth are jobless. A cooking gas cylinder costs Rs1,250, kerosene is Rs100 per liter and there is no timber and ration at depots. We can’t afford to buy gas cylinders, from where we will bring money for huge power bills. They are killing poor people like us,” the agitated protesters said.
The protesters slammed the J&K administration officials and bureaucrats saying they can’t use fans for their children in this scorching heat and officials live lavishly in AC offices and houses.
The protesters threatened to intensify their protests on a daily basis if the Power Development Department doesn’t shelve the idea of the installation of smart meters. [KNT]