Kolkata: Hundreds of CPI(M) supporters clashed with the police in Kolkata on Friday as they demonstrated outside power utility CESC’s head office, demanding the withdrawal of “abnormal electricity charges”. Three processions began from Mahajati Sadan, Subodh Mallick Square and Nelson Mandela Park, culminating outside the CESC’s headquarters at Chowringhee Square in the heart of the city.
“We demand waiver of electricity bills with less than 200 units consumption during the lockdown. Also, we demand the reduction of electricity price per unit,” senior CPI(M) leader Md Salim said.
As the protesters tried to go towards the CESC office, a clash broke out with the police.
CPI(M) leaders alleged that party supporters were baton-charged by police without any provocation, and many have been severely injured in the action.
Police said no arrests have been made in connection with the incident.
The private power utility, part of the RP Sanjiv Goenka Group, announced last month that it will recover unpaid amount for units consumed in March, April and May in 10 instalments.
According to CESC officials, meter reading could not be taken for the three months due to the lockdown and it had sent provisional bills to its customers.
During the lockdown period, charges were arrived at after computing the average usage of the previous six months, they said.
But this way, the units consumed turned out to be “much lower” than the summer months, they added.