Incessant load-shedding, filing of cases of theft against farmers and tariff hikes have made pursuing agriculture next to impossible, said Vijay Hegde, State vice-president, Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha, here on Wednesday.
Talking to presspersons, he said the Mangalore Electricity Supply Company (Mescom) had become “profit-oriented” and put the livelihoods of thousands of farmers across Dakshina Kannada and Udupi on the line.
In order to press for an end to these policies, the sangha said members would siege the office of Mescom Managing Director on the morning of April 8.
“Officials from Mescom harass farmers, filing false cases of theft against them. They also take away land unnecessarily on the guise of setting up sub-stations, towers and electric poles, and any protest is thwarted by police lathi charge,” Mr. Hegde alleged.
He said the Mescom’s policy of procuring power from Udupi Power Corporation Limited (UPCL) by ignoring the hydroelectric units the on River Shravathi had led to power crisis in the State.
“There is frequent load-shedding that disrupts the running of pump-sets and irrigation units. This is because Mescom, which is looking for profits, has sided with the UPCL instead of getting power from old sources,” Mr. Hegde claimed.
Tariff hike opposed
The sangha also opposed the Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commissioner’s suggestion of increasing power tariff once in three months. “This is a systematic ploy to ensure power generating and power distributing companies reaped undue profits. Once an agreement is signed with power-generating companies, the tariff should not be revised for the term of contract. That is, if the period of supply is two years, no tariff revision should take place for two years,” he said.