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Posted at: Oct 20, 2019, 6:49 AM; last updated: Oct 20, 2019, 6:49 AM (IST)

Now, power meter trouble for Shillong Sikh colony dwellers

Residents want load raised, Khasi Students Union opposes move

Shubhadeep Choudhury

Tribune News Service

Kolkata, October 19

Meghalaya Government’s step of replacing the existing electricity meters in the state capital Shilllong with new “pre-paid” meters have turned into a massive problem for the Sikh residents of the city’s Harijan Colony.

The colony, where Dalit Sikhs have been living for several generations, has been in the eye of a storm as the state government has been making protracted effort to evict the residents from the area, located close to city’s prime commercial district.

Terror groups as well as other parochial outfits claiming to represent the interest of the local Khasi tribe also want the Sikh residents to leave the colony. This is one issue in which the government, terror groups and various others ethnic outfits are all on the same page.

Like elsewhere in the city, pre-paid meters have been installed by the distribution companies in the Harijan Colony houses of Shillong also. But these meters can only support upto one kw (kilowatt) of power consumption. He said the residents went to the office of the distribution company and formally applied for load enhancement. But this is being opposed by the Khasi Students Union (KSU). The KSU has threatened the distribution company against conceding to the demand by the Harijan Colony residents.

As per KSU, an outfit that claims to represent interest of Khasi tribe, the Sikh residents of Harijan Colony are illegal settlers who are not eligible for facilities enjoyed by a citizen ordinarily. “We don’t know what to do now. The KSU is a very strong. The distribution company will not dare to disobey them”, Gurjeet Singh said. “But using even things like refrigerator or electric iron has become difficult for us with the one kw pre-paid meters installed in our premises”, he added. 

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