Sunday, May 26, 2024

Concern over smart meters in farm sector

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PNS|Ongole

Expressing concern over the fixing of smart meters to the agriculture pump sets in the State, the leaders of farmers’ unions, political parties, and organisations have cautioned that the decision would push the farm sector into a crisis.

A round table conference was organised here on Sunday on the smart meters. The meeting was presided over by district general secretary of the AP Rythu Sangam Vadde Hanuma Reddy.

Speaking on the occasion, CPI district secretary ML Narayana called upon all to oppose the fixing of smart meters to the agricultural pump sets. “Let’s protect the right to free electricity that we have fought for,” he said.

The Telugu Desam Party (TDP) was hit by the electricity movement in 2000 very badly. After coming to power, the then Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu did not dare to touch the free electricity to the agriculture sector, he reminded.

“The Jagan Mohan Reddy-headed government has surrendered to the Modi-led Centre to get a Rs 4,000 crore loan and agreed to bring electricity reforms in AP. As part of the reforms, the government is installing smart meters to the agriculture pump sets across the State,” CPI leader ML Narayana lashed out.

“If the smart meters are fixed to the agriculture pump sets, that will lead to a severe crisis in the agriculture sector. If reforms are implemented, the agriculture sector will become questionable not only in the country but also in the State,” he feared.

Chief Minister Jagan stated that farmers in the state only need to apply for smart meters and then open accounts in banks and that the free electricity would continue for 30 years is proof of his overconfidence that he would be in power for another 30 years, he slammed. If the Discoms are privatized, who would pay the electricity bills, he questioned. This kind of senseless act would ruin the agriculture sector and also cause an agrarian crisis in the state, he flayed.

He pointed out that the farmers in the Prakasam district, except in the Santhanuthalapadu constituency, raise their crops depending on the pump sets for irrigation water. The CPI leader warned that electricity smart meters would become hanging ropes for farmers if they trusted the lies of the government. He claimed that many states like Tamil Nadu and Telangana were not fixing the smart meters but Jagan Reddy headed the government has taken steps to fix the smart meters expeditiously in the State.

CPM district leader GV Konda Reddy said that CPM is opposing the installation of smart meters to agricultural pump sets. He said that agriculture is going on in the district only on electricity-based motors, adding that even in the area where the waters of the NS flowing, crops are raised on the basis of electricity. “The Central and State governments are trying to turn Andhra Pradesh into Adani Pradesh,” he ridiculed.

Prakasam district development forum president Chunduri Ranga Rao, Congress party state vice-president Sripati Prakasam, CPI (ML) district leader S Lalita Kumari, CPI (ML) New Democracy leader Nagaraju and Rythu Coolie Sangham leader Kongara Narasimha and AP Rythu Sangam district general secretary Pamidi Venkata Rao were among those who spoke.

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