For 22 years, villagers dint paid electricity Bills..Why?!!
In karnataka, the introduction of free electricity bills is a contentious issue. In a recent news conference, the state government announced that starting on July 1, households will be eligible for 200 free units of electricity if their monthly electricity usage is under 200 units. You may be shocked to learn that Shirola village in the Bagalkote district of karnataka still maintains its free power programme. Since 2001, the locals have not paid their electricity bills. Yes, Shirola residents have defaulted on their electricity payments for 22 years.
Known for its sugarcane farms, Shirola. A problem with the availability of electricity to power the agricultural pump sets first surfaced in 2001. Only when a 440-watt power source was present was the water motor activated. However, the government only gave 250 watts of power. The volt imbalance caused the motors used in farms to burn out and sustain damage.
When the villagers contacted the Bangalore electricity Supply Company (BESCOM) for assistance, they were reportedly first instructed to settle an old account, according to a report by Vijay Karnataka. The report also stated that only then would the government fix their motor pumps. Soon after, a demonstration got underway, led by agricultural activists Ramesh Gadannavar and Nanjundaswamy. They made the decision to take care of the motor pump sets themselves, without anyone else's assistance. The Shirola people also stated that they would not pay the bill unless they had enough electricity.
In 2006, there was yet another violent uprising by farmers who alleged that instead of paying them fair rates for their products, the government was charging them for energy. Therefore, they do not also pay the house bill. This trend of not paying bills has persisted up to this point and doesn't seem to be slowing down any time soon. Following the revelation of the 200-unit free electricity bill, the brave resistance put up by the Shirola farmers has once more come to the fore.