Report by Kamgar Ekta Committee (KEC) correspondent
A state level seminar on Electricity (Amendment) Bill 2022 was organised by Samyukta Horata – Karnataka in Bengaluru on 27 December 2022. The seminar was addressed by Shri Mohammad Samiulla, Deputy General Secretary of Karnataka Electricity Employees Federation who said that the government is working against the interests of the farmers.
He said if this Electricity Amendment bill is implemented farmers will face difficulties in paying high bills, because electricity will go to private hands. The private sector will cut off their supply if the bills are not paid in time as already farmers in Orissa are facing where electricity distribution is already privatised. Moreover, farmers in Orissa are not getting continuous electricity as the private sector management blames it on poor condition of grid. He said one can imagine what will happen to the crops if there is no power for irrigation.
Earlier when farmers asked water for irrigation, various governments installed bore wells and gave free electricity. But the Karnataka government today is saying electricity will be provided only on payment by installation of meters. Today already farmers are facing shortage of electricity. Government is proposing to bring private sector and says we will provide electricity through them.
He added that the farmers need water for irrigation and if the government provides water then there is no need for free electricity for cultivation.
The book written by JM Veer Narsighaiah of Karnataka Rajya Rayata Sangh titled “Meter installation – a burden and a punishment on farmers? – Government’s stand versus farmers decision” was also released on this occasion.
Others who spoke on this occasion were Badgalpur Nagendra of Karnataka Rajya Rayata Sangha, U Basavraj of Karnataka Prant Rayat Sangh, Dr. Siddgowda Patil of Akhil Bharat Kissan Sabha(Karnataka), H.V Divakar of AIKKMS, Mahabali Shankar of Dalit Samnway Samiti Sangh, DH Pujar from Karnataka Rayat Sangha, Chandrappa Hoskera of Karnataka Farm Labourers Sangh, Devi from Akhil Bhartiya Janwadi Mahila Sanghathana and PRS Mani from AICCTU.