Residents from 10-12 village in Nohar tehsil in Hanumangarh district of Rajasthan organised protest demonstration at the Office of Assistant Engineer (Discom) at Gogamedi, against the dictatorial attitude and illegal extortion by the distribution companies (discoms) and practice of the governments department of turning blind eye towards such illegal activities of the private discoms. The people are demanding that notice issued to them for payment of additional security deposit must be withdrawn, and this loot by private discoms must be stopped.
The struggle is being organised under the leadership of Bijli Upabhokta Sangharsh Samiti (Electricty Consumers Action Committee). Guruji Hanuman Prasad Sharma, Vice President of Lok Raj Sangathan participated in the demonstration action alongside other the leader of the action committee.
The electricity department has issued notice to the consumers for payment of additional security deposit, which is a big amount. The state government has privatised the department and handed electricity distribution to the private discoms. These discoms are charging arbitrary amount to the consumers. People are alleging that the discoms are collecting the amount illegally to make up for their losses.
The protestors demanded an answer from the government as to why they are being made to pay an arbitrary amount when they have paid the security deposit when the electricity meters were installed. People said that they pay a fix amount to the discoms depending on the electricity consumption. For example if somebody consumes up to 200 units he pays a fixed amount of Rs. 400, whereas if someone consumes up to 400 units, he pays a fixed amount of Rs. 800 towards the security deposit.
People are already agitated by the excess amount being charged to them due to fast running meters. Now they are being made to pay additional security deposit, which is adds to their burden.
People’s demands include:
- The department must immediately withdraw the notice for payment of additional security deposit
- The fixed service fees being levied must be immediately stopped.
- Every family must be provided with 200 units of electricity free.
- The irregularities in billing must be rectified immediately.
- The fast running and faulty meters must be replaced. Action must be taken against the company producing such faulty meters.