Amid the complaints of pesky power cuts across Kashmir, the government has increased the monthly tariff by 8-12 per cent to the consumers across Jammu and Kashmir while the people have expressed resentment against the move, appealing to the authorities to revisit the decision.
The consumers received bills as per hiked tarrif, barely two days after the KPDCL announced fresh curtailment schedule for Kashmir—four and-a-half hours cut in metered areas and 8 hours power cut in non-metered areas.
The consumers from different areas across the Valley told the news agency Kashmir News Observer that the monthly tariff of electricity has been increased by the Kashmir Power Distribution Corporation Limited (KPDCL), saying that from around 700 rupees per month, they have been served the bill of Rs 920 this month.
The residents of different areas including Srinagar, Ganderbal, Pulwama, Tral, Shopian, Kulgam and other parts said that they were surprised when they received a monthly bill of Rs 920 this month from KPDCL.
That said, they fail to understand the logic behind the abrupt hike in the electricity bill. “Hikes in power tariff are increasing our sufferings. We are unable to pay double electricity bills,” the locals said.
Abdul Hameed, a resident of Pulwama said that he was getting a bill of around Rs 550 till August month this year, however, his monthly tariff was increased to around 750 in September but in November, he received a bill of Rs 920.
“I fail to understand how my load has increased in the last two or three months and how the tariff has been increased to such an extent,” he said. He added that the monthly tariff has been hiked at a time when there has been almost no change in the power schedule this winter.
People from other areas echoed similar views, saying that the daily unscheduled and frequent power cuts have taken a heavy toll on them while on other hand the PDD was giving a hike in their monthly bills.
He said people living in these areas are financially weak and this hike will add to the miseries of the consumers further.
“If government is increasing monthly tariffs then they must upgrade the infrastructure as well. The power lines are tied with trees as the department did not provide adequate electric poles in the area,” he said.
The residents appealed to the PDD to reconsider their decision to hike the monthly bills especially in the prevailing tough times.
Meanwhile, Chief Engineer, KPDCL, Javed Yousuf Dar admitted the hike of 8-12 per cent in monthly tariff across Kashmir, saying that the previous tariff was as per 2014-15 as there was no change since then and the regulator has allowed to hike the tariff by 8-12 per cent this year. “In certain cases, the hike may be less or in certain cases, it may be more. Inspite of this hike, the tariff in J&K is still less than other parts of the country.”
“The people should understand how much electricity they are using. I have personally paid over Rs 3656 for the last month as electricity bill. The tariff is still less compared to the other parts of the country” he said (KNO)