Vadodara residents protest against high electricity bills from new smart meters

Vadodara, May 18 (IANS): The ongoing controversy on Saturday surrounding Madhya Gujarat Vij Corporation Limited's (MGVCL) installation of smart electricity meters has ignited fresh protests in Vadodara.

The installation of 25,000 smart meters has led to widespread dissatisfaction among consumers, who claim that their prepaid Rs 2,000 is being consumed within a week of installation.

Consumers have reported that the smart meter app issues frequent reminders to recharge their accounts, cutting off power when the balance falls below minus Rs 300.

The new meters charge Rs 4.29 per unit, compared to the previous Rs 2.79 per unit, exacerbating the financial burden on consumers.

The women of L.K. Nagar staged a protest on Alembic Road on Saturday, voicing their grievances and demanding the removal of the new meters.

One protestor expressed frustration, saying, "We paid Rs 2,000, and within four days, only Rs 700 was left. If we cannot cover our expenses, we will return the new meters and reinstall the old ones. We don't want a smart city if it means higher bills and constant recharges."

Another protestor highlighted their challenges: "Our bills used to be Rs 1,700 for two months, but now we can't recharge our meters. We are threatened with fines and police action if we don't comply. We don't need these smart meters."

Reacting to people's protests, Sayajiganj MLA Keyur Rokadia addressed the issue, acknowledging the numerous complaints from residents, saying: "The smart meters are part of a government scheme, but we have received widespread complaints. I have raised the issue with the Chief Minister's Office and the Managing Director of Vij Company. Until the grievances are resolved, no new meters should be installed in the Sayajiganj Assembly."




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Title: Vadodara residents protest against high electricity bills from new smart meters

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