Launching a broadside against the unprecedented ‘hike’ in the electricity tariff by the Pinarayi Vijayan government, the Congress-led UDF is organising a ‘Lights off Kerala’ protest on June 17 when people have been asked to switch off the power for three minutes at 9 p.m, said a top leader.
Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala told the media on Friday that this peculiar situation has arisen because, during the Covid-19 lockdown, the electricity meter readers of the Kerala State Electricity Board were not able to reach the homes of the consumers to take the reading and give the bill.
“Since the billing rates are in telescopic nature, this delay in meter reading when done subsequently saw the bi-monthly electricity bill jump, causing heartburn to many. This issue was raised on numerous occasions but no action has come so far and hence we are forced to stage this protest,” said Chennithala.
Giving an example, Chennithala said for a consumer who utilises 200 units for their home in a billing cycle, the delay in meter reading has led to a huge spike in the monthly charges.
“We are also launching an online complaint register where all can join and can log on to register their protest. This will be there till the government withdraws the excess charges,” added Chennithala.