Vidarbha Rajya Andolan Samiti (VRAS) burnt copies of electricity bills in front of Vidyut Bhavan, office of the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Ltd (MSEDCL) to protest against higher power tariff. They also demanded the government to reduce the power tariff. The pro-Vidarbha body also demanded free power supply to agricultural pumps and revoking the agreement of distribution franchisee SNDL.
VRAS members were led by Ram Neole, economist Dr Shriniwas Khandewale, Mukesh Masurkar, Dr S J Khwaja, Vijaya Dhote, Prafulla Shende, Mangalmurti Sonkusare, Adv Neeraj Khandewale, Rajani Shukla, Ganesh Sharma, Adv R J Belekar, Pratibha Khaparde, Rekha Nimje, Dharmaraj Revatkar, Munna Mahajan, and others.
After burning the electricity bills, the members raised slogans against high power tariff, especially in Vidarbha region.
Later, VRAS delegation had a minor scuffle with the policemen on bandobast duty over meeting Dilip Ghugal, Chief Engineer of Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited, Nagpur Zone. Later Ghugal himself came out and accepted the memorandum from the delegation.
Neole later said that if the demands were not met with, VRAS would take out ‘Electricity and Vidarbha March’ from Samvidhan Square to the residence of Energy Minister on August 9. Delhi Government was providing power at the rate of Rs. 1.25 per unit and Maharashtra was providing at the rate of ₹5.10 per unit, he alleged. The Government should immediately reduce the power tariff and provide relief to people of Vidarbha, Neole demanded.
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