By Ehsaan Yousf
The residents of the Duderhama area of central Kashmir’s Ganderbal district on Monday staged a protest against the Power Development Department (PDD) for installing smart meters.
Scores of women took to the streets and blocked the Beehama-Duderhama road. They staged demonstrations against the installation of smart electric meters and raised slogans against the PDD.
The protesting women blocked the road at the Hospital stop in Duderhama which led to the suspension of traffic movement for some time.
The protesters said their families were not in a position to pay the “excessive bills” generated by the devices, so would not allow the department to install the smart meters in their area.
“Owing to the skyrocketing prices of essentials, our family budget is already stressed and we won’t be able to meet the additional expenses,” said lady.
Similarly, another protester said, “No one is rich enough to afford the enormous electricity costs. If meters are installed, we will be unable to afford the bills. We are poor families here, and the majority of our men are daily wagers.”
The protesters appealed to the Lieutenant Governor-led administration and Deputy Commissioner Ganderbal to reconsider the decision of installing smart meters in the area.
Meanwhile AEE Ganderbal Sanjay Wokhloo said,It is the order of Government and we are employees we cannot do anything for this issue.It is the plan of government to install smart meters. He said meter installation has already done in Jammu Division. He further said we cannot life smart meters from this area.