Habba Kadal Residents Resent Smart Meters, PDD Snaps Power

CE KPDCL says order received from top officials

By Majid Nabi

Srinagar- Authorities snapped electricity supply in Gadood Bagh and its adjoining localities Habba kadal area on Tuesday, a day after the locals objected to what was alleged ‘unjustified’ move to install smart meters in the area.

The power supply in the area was snapped a day after locals staged a protest against smart meter installation, saying they cannot afford hefty monthly electricity bills being ‘poor’.

Upset by the move, consumers across the valley have hit the streets to press for the revocation of the order, which they allege is aimed to force people to reel under absolute gloom.

“Being poor, we cannot afford fat monthly bills from smart meters. We literally live from hand to mouth and find it difficult to meet both ends as most of the educated youth in our locality are jobless” said Bilal Ahmad, a local resident.

“How is it genuine to install smart meters when Kashmir’s economy has been in shambles for the last 35 years” he questioned.

He said the government recently hiked Rs 50 on domestic Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) and it’s very difficult for an average person to support his family in such a situation.

“Prices of essential commodities are touching the sky and the government instead of lessening the burden of common masses is overburdening them by introducing back-breaking schemes. How is it possible for a laborer or a roadside vendor to pay huge electricity bills from smart meters,” said another local.

Locals living around Gadood Bagh and its adjoining localities said that they took to the roads and staged a protest after a team of Power Development Department (PDD) arrived in their area to install smart power meters.

“We vehemently objected to the move and did not allow smart meters to be installed in our area. Offended by the protest, authorities snapped electricity supply in our area, thus leaving us to reel under complete darkness,” Nabla, an elderly woman, told Kashmir Observer.

She appealed to the administration to either revoke the order of installing smart meters in the valley or exempt the poor, given their desperate economic condition.

Meanwhile, Chief Engineer Kashmir Power Distribution Corporation Limited (KPDCL), Javed Yousuf Dar has said that the electricity has been snapped as residents objected to installation of smart meters.

“The order in this regard has been received from top officials,” he said.  

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