Protests Erupt Outside Sama-Alkapuri Power Office Over Smart Meter

The opposition to smart meters, which started in the western outskirts of Vadodara city, is now gradually spreading throughout the entire city. Today, residents of Sama Housing Society in Ward No. 2 of the city and electricity consumers in Alkapuri area showed strong resistance to the officials of the electricity department of Madhya Gujarat Vij Company Limited (MGVCL). They demanded the removal of new smart meters and insisted on reinstalling the old ones. The protest escalated outside the Sama office, and consumers in Alkapuri resorted to protests as well.

Work Commences Amidst Controversy

In Vadodara city, the installation of new smart electricity meters by the Madhya Gujarat Vij Company is ongoing. Currently, 27,440 new smart meters have been installed in various 12 divisions of Vadodara by the company. Of these, 15,000 are currently active. Under the Government of India’s R-APDRP scheme, the installation of smart meters began in January.

Controversy Spreads in the City

Currently, opposition to new smart meters is growing in various neighborhoods of Vadodara city. The resistance that started from the western outskirts of the city is now gradually spreading towards the entire city. After three days of continuous opposition, today, residents from various societies including Saraswati Society, Akash Ganga, Sundarvan, Dada Park, Jawahar Park, and Jadav Park gathered together and protested outside the electricity department office of Madhya Gujarat Vij Company. Amidst the scorching heat, people protested by sitting on the ground and raised intense slogans against the installation of smart meters.

1500 Bills Generated Within Two to Three Days

Residents of various societies in Alkapuri reached the Alkapuri electricity office and engaged in heated arguments regarding the high bills generated after reinstalling old meters. People reported that they used to receive bills of around 3600 rupees for two months with the old meters. However, now within ten days, they are charged 2000 rupees. Recharging with 1000-1500 rupees every two to three days is becoming burdensome for them. Angry residents gathered outside the GEB office, sat on the ground, and intensely protested against the installation of new smart meters, demanding the removal of these meters and reinstalling the old ones.

No Change in Meters

It’s noteworthy that amidst the ongoing opposition to smart meters in the city, Tejas Parmar, MD of MGVCL, stated on Thursday that these smart meters are just like regular meters. They function similarly and are counted in the same way. The only difference is that these meters didn’t have communication until now, meaning if any reading needed to be taken, an employee had to go there to take the reading, and then we used to receive bills every two months.

Installation of Warning

It was further informed that these meters come with a facility where we can view our readings every half an hour through our app. The work is carried out by contractors, and there is no coercion of any kind. There are no provisional provisions in the penalty guideline, and there is no compulsion to install. We are converting residential customers to smart meters. Approximately 33 lakh meters will be installed in central Gujarat in the next two years.

Niyati Rao

Niyati Rao is a seasoned writer and avid consumer who specializes in crafting informative and engaging articles and product reviews. With a passion for research and a knack for finding the best deals, Niyati enjoys helping readers make informed decisions about their purchases.