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In absence of any breather, fatty power bills break the back of Kashmir locals

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From the naming and shaming the hapless and economically backward consumers, the Kashmir Power Distribution Company Limited (KPDCL) has left no stone unturned in squeezing the blood of middle and lower class people in Kashmir Valley.

The KPDCL as per the people has been generating revenue on the cost of poor natives of Valley. Almost every family receives inflated power bills and ironically there is no redressal mechanism on which the aggrieved consumers can back on.

An official from KPDCL claimed that it has a detailed redress mechanism, but consumers say officials aren’t responsive even after they file the complaints.

“My monthly income is over Rs 10,000 and we have six family members and being the head of the family I am the only bread earner. I received a power bill of Rs 7,400 last month. Tell, me where from I will get this money. Either I have to live in darkness or resort to power pilferage or I have to indulge in malpractices to raise the money,” a local from the old town Chanapora area of Srinagar uptown told the news agency Kashmir News Trust.

The complaints of inflated bills being received by consumers are pouring in from the length and breadth of Kashmir Valley. Even, people have been staging protests accusing KPDCL of acting like an East India Company, however, these pleas, requests, and agitations have gone to deaf ears. In the absence of any elected government, people have no access to power corridors and are feeling helpless.

“Except for requests and appeals, we can’t do anything. We can’t approach bureaucrats who are always busy in meetings and they don’t listen to us,” said a local who also got an inflated bill much to this frustration.

A consumer said that he has a meager income and was paying Rs 500 to 700 a month but after the installation of smart meters against the wishes of the people, the power bills have shot up drastically. “We sometimes feel that we will disconnect the power supply and live like as people in pre-historic times used to live,” he said.

It’s not only the lower and middle class people who have been suffering on account of the fatty power bills but some affluent people are also in arms against the present dispensation.

“After the installation of smart meters, we have draped our air conditioner with a sheet and we don’t use it. It’s just like a decorative item in our home now,” said a well-to-do businessman adding that he hopes there will be people’s government tomorrow and locals will get a breather. [KNT]

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