Rainawari residents protest against installation of smart meters
Srinagar: The installation of smart electricity meters triggered protests in several localities of the Rainwari area in the old city on Saturday, with residents, mainly women, blocking main roads against the move.
Shouting slogans against the government, dozens of the women assembled outside Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial (JLNM) Hospital at Rainawari and blocked the main road to protest against the installation of smart meters in the area.
Protests were also held in several other areas of Rainawari, with women holding meters in their hands urging the administration to have pity on the poor.
“I am a widow; we find it difficult to make both ends meet. Have pity on the poor. You used bulldozers, imposed property tax and whatnot; aren’t we humans, or do you treat Kashmiris as second-class citizens!” Mymoona, a protesting woman said.
Blockade of roads in the area severely hampered traffic movement on the busy junction for almost an hour.
“How could we pay hefty monthly electricity bills when smart meters are made functional? This is what poor Kashmiri achieved after the abrogation of Article 370. Is this the Naya Kashmir that the Modi government always brags about?” Sumaya, a B.Tech student said.
Mogli, an elderly woman, said they are paying electricity bills of Rs 900 to 1000 every month and that most of the people in the area are very poor.“We are ready to pay flat electricity bills. Installation of smart meters is unacceptable to us; we also want existing power meters to be uninstalled at the earliest,” she said.