Residents of Kulgam’s Arigutnoo village protest against inflated power bills

Kulgam, Jan 10: Protesting against the multi-fold hike in power bills, the residents of Arigutnoo village, located on the foothills of Pir Panjal mountain range some 7 kilometers from south Kashmir’s Kulgam town, on Wednesday demanded the rollback of additional power tariffs.

Miffed protesters told Greater Kashmir that the area witnessed at least 50 percent rise in the monthly power tariffs in recent months.

“We have been experiencing a steep rise in the power bills for the last two years”, they said.

The protesters said that their monthly power bills had jumped from Rs 350 to staggering Rs 1300 over the past two years.

In 2014, floods swept through the village, comprising over 500 households, rendering the entire village homeless.

Ghulam Mohammad, a resident, said that floods had put an additional strain on the village, which was already caught in the grip of poverty.

“We are still struggling to recover from losses incurred during the deluge”, said Mohammad.

He said that if the authorities did not roll back the power tariffs then it would be better for them to remove the electric polls from the area.

Mohammad said that the entire village following the floods was groaning under crushing debts.   The protesters also said that the area witnessed the protracted and recurring power outages.

“And, on the other hand, we are compelled to pay the inflated power bills”, they said.

An official from the power department said that power bills were revised after the load enhancement.  He, however, said that the considerations would be made in favour of those grappling with financial constraints due to the floods and other reasons.


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