Gujarat: Residents Vandalize MGVCL Office In Vadodara, Demand Removal Of Smart Meters

Gujarat: Residents Vandalize MGVCL Office In Vadodara, Demand Removal Of Smart Meters

The residents expressed their frustration over high electricity bills and frequent power outages, demanding a return to the old metering system.

Melvyn ThomasUpdated: Tuesday, May 21, 2024, 10:52 PM IST
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Gujarat: Residents Vandalize MGVCL Office In Vadodara, Demand Removal Of Smart Meters |

In a dramatic escalation of discontent, residents of Akota and Fatehgunj areas in Vadodara vandalized and set fire to the MGVCL office on Tuesday, protesting against the installation of smart meters. The residents expressed their frustration over high electricity bills and frequent power outages, demanding a return to the old metering system.

The incident began when smart meters in several homes malfunctioned, leading to widespread power cuts. Furious residents of Akota responded by vandalizing the Madhya Gujarat Vij Company Limited (MGVCL) office and setting it ablaze. This act of arson was accompanied by vocal protests in the Fatehgunj area, where residents raised slogans and demanded the removal of smart meters.

Zabilaben, a local from Fatehgunj, highlighted the financial strain caused by the new meters. "We got 500 rupees for 4 days in the smart meter. In the first two months, I used to get 900 to 1000 rupees a month," she explained. "If the smart meter is not removed, it will be our turn to install old meters. There are all sick people in our house. My husband has diabetes, he can't see. We have to bring their medicine or pay such huge bills. Our situation is very bad."

Another resident, Ushaben Rajput, echoed these sentiments, detailing her skyrocketing electricity bills and the adverse impact on her family. "Earlier the bill for two months was Rs 1500, and now in 10 days, the bill was Rs 1300. The lights are off at night, so where should we go at night? If we get a heart attack and die in the heat, who will take our responsibility? Those people will come to see us," she questioned.

Rajput also criticized the timing of the smart meter installation, stating, "Had this been done before voting, we would not have voted. This has been started after taking the vote. If our smart meters are not removed, we will go to Gandhinagar."

The protests have not been limited to Vadodara. A wave of discontent is sweeping through other cities in the state, with residents united in their demand for the removal of smart meters. Fatehganj Sub Division Junior Engineer R.K. Varia acknowledged the intensity of the protests. "All the people have come with their representations and are demanding the removal of smart meters," he said.

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