Govt harassing consumers: CCI

Switching from digital to smart & now prepaid meters

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, July 19: It is highly obnoxious and unwarranted that the Government in J&K is unnecessarily harassing thousands of honest electricity consumers by frequently switching from digital to smart and now prepaid meters, without initiating consultation with civil society and representative of the people.
This was stated by Arun Gupta, president Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI), Jammu in a statement issued to media in presence of Anil Gupta, senior vice president CCI, Rajeev Gupta junior vice president, Rajesh Gupta secretary and Rajesh Gupta, treasurer CCI.
Expressing grave concern over the frequent moves of the Government in the name of putting an end to the power theft in J&K, the CCI president said that switching over from one type of meter to another will not serve the purpose because the highest rate of transmission losses are the real culprits.
Decrying the Government’s move of changing the power meters from one technology to another in a short span of time, Arun Gupta said that such kind of harassment amounts to mental agony to PDD consumers and in a way is an attack on fundamental rights. He said that Jammu Power Development Corporation Ltd (JPDCL) is torturing people by adopting new methods to collect revenue, which is unacceptable and illogical because the people in J&K are already paying Income Tax, GST, water bills, power bills, etc without fail despite absence of any prepaid methodology then why Government needs advance payment (prepaid system) from consumers to provide electricity, which is an essential service and the Government is bound to ensure power supply to each and every household and business establishments.
CCI president castigated the policy makers of the J&K Government for taking such drastic steps to tackle the simple problem of non-payment of power bills. He said that people in Jammu and Kashmir are respectable citizens of the country and not traitors, therefore the Government should not persecute or torment them in such a manner which snatches away their peace of mind.
Gupta further said that the consumers are complaining that smart meters are running very fast as compared to digital meters installed earlier. “We asked the Government whether the digital meters are showing wrong reading or the smart meters are wrong. The areas where the smart meters are installed are also not being spared from the unscheduled power cuts. We are of the firm view that the smart meters should not be installed to harass the honest consumers unless and until the things are set right,” he added.
Chamber president highlighted that as per the communication from the Industrialists of RS Pura there is no separate feeder for Industries as such they are facing lot of hardships in running their Industrial units but there is no one to listen or solve their problems even after so many representations. We request the electric department to listen to their genuine grievances and act accordingly to minimize their suffering.