SAMBALPUR: The Sambalpur district bar association has threatened to launch an agitation against State Government’s decision to roll out the prepaid smart electric metering system in the city.
Addressing media persons here on Tuesday, bar association president Bijitendriya Pradhan said Sambalpur is not a place for experimentation. The Government should first install the prepaid meters in Bhubaneswar, Cuttack and in the constituency of Energy Minister Dibya Shankar Mishra and then in Sambalpur, he said.
He said the bar body is not against the installation of prepaid electric meters but is opposed to the State Government’s decision to use the new system in Sambalpur first. “If the Government implements the system in Sambalpur after installing the meters in Bhubaneswar, Cuttack and other areas of the State, we will not oppose it,” Pradhan said.
The bar association will hold a meeting involving all the social organisations and general public of Sambalpur to seek their opinion on the issue and accordingly, steps would be taken to oppose the Government’s decision, he said.
On the other hand, denizens of the city under the banner of ‘Paschimanchal Ektaa Manch’ submitted a memorandum addressed to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to the district administration over the issue on the day. The Manch has demanded to install the prepaid smart electric meters in all the districts of the State simultaneously.
Chief Coordinator of the Manch Manas Ranjan Bakshi said since the new system initiated by the Energy department aims to bring reform in the power sector, the prepaid meters should be first installed at the residences of the Energy Minister and Secretary, all the Ministers and MLAs.
The Energy Department plans to install the prepaid smart electric meters at some Government offices in Sambalpur in a bid to check power pilferage and tackle huge pending bills of domestic consumers.