Smart Meters protest : Surat Residents Demand Reinstallation of Old Meters

During the demonstration in Surat, over 5,000 people filed complaints against the installation of smart meters, demanding their immediate removal


SURAT, GUJARAT : In recent weeks, opposition to smart meters has been intensifying across Gujarat. Following similar unrest in Vadodara and Ahmedabad, residents of Surat have now joined the chorus of voices demanding the removal of newly installed smart meters and the reinstallation of traditional ones. This movement has gained momentum as residents report significantly higher electricity bills since the installation of smart meters.

In Surat’s Punagam area, locals, led by Congress and Aam Aadmi Party leaders, organized a protest outside the offices of the Dakshin Gujarat Vij Company Limited (DGVCL). During the demonstration, over 5,000 people filed complaints against the installation of smart meters, demanding their immediate removal. The protesters argued that the new meters are inaccurately recording higher electricity usage, leading to inflated bills. Societies in Surat have also displayed banners denouncing the smart meters, reflecting the widespread dissatisfaction.

The outcry is not limited to Surat. In Ahmedabad’s New Naroda area, residents have voiced strong opposition to smart meters. Similarly, in Vadodara, there have been significant protests against the Madhya Gujarat Vij Corporation Limited (MGVCL) over increased electricity bills attributed to the new meters. These protests have drawn considerable attention, prompting the state government to take action.

In response to the growing dissatisfaction and to address the concerns of consumers, the state government has made a significant decision. Authorities have announced that both smart meters and conventional meters will be installed simultaneously outside houses. This dual installation aims to dispel misconceptions and provide a basis for comparison, allowing consumers to verify the accuracy of the smart meters against the traditional ones.

The decision to install both types of meters is seen as a move to build trust and transparency between the utility companies and the consumers. It reflects the government’s acknowledgment of the public’s concerns and its willingness to find a solution that ensures fairness and accuracy in electricity billing.

One resident from Punagam, Rajesh Patel, expressed his frustration, saying, “Since the installation of the smart meter, my electricity bill has almost doubled. We cannot afford these inflated bills. The old meters never showed such high usage.” His sentiment is echoed by many others who have experienced similar issues.