Noida: Nearly 200 farmers from Gautam Budh Nagar district under the banner of the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) staged a protest at the Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation Limited (UPPCL) office here Wednesday.
Farmers said the UPPCL sent arbitrary electricity bills and if the farmers failed to pay, they are harassed unnecessarily. The farmers locked the door of the power discom office at Noida’s sector 16 and continued their protest outside.
The farmers said they are fed up with illegal recovery by UPPCL officials. “These days a vigilance team visits the villages to check power theft. The vigilance team says they have come for inspection on the direction of UPPCL. They ask people in villages to pay them, otherwise they are charged for power theft,” said a Gautam Budh Nagar based BKU leader, Subhas Chaudhari.
The farmers said several electricity transformers are defunct in the villages and when they ask the officials to replace them, the officials ask for a bribe. The agitating farmers also alleged that the power department officials cut the power supply for hours.
“We are fed up with arbitrary decisions of UPPCL and we will not call off this protest until we are assured that such things are not repeated in future,” Chaudhari added.
Claiming that the villagers have taken legal power connections and that they pay electricity bills every month, the farmers alleged that UPPCL does not send proper bills to the consumers in the villages but later come to collect money.
Besides these, the farmers also alleged that UPPCL is denying electricity connections in the villages that are located along the Yamuna Expressway. “If UPPCL wants to stop power theft, then why does it not send monthly electricity bills in the villages? And when they do not send monthly bills, then why do they later ask people to pay hefty bills? There are several issues which need to be stopped immediately,” said another local farmer, Suresh Awana.
The farmers reached the power company office at around noon and camped at the main gate. They brought with them their traditional hookahs and later also cooked food at the site.
The protesters finally vacated the spot at around 5.30 p.m.