Following its recent decision about power tariff in Supertech Capetown, the Paschimanchal Vidyut Vitran Nigam Limited has expanded the scope of its decision to cover all builders and group housing societies under its jurisdiction.
In a major relief to consumers of Supertech Capetown, a residential society in Sector 74, Noida, the electricity distribution authority in the city had delinked electricity charges from maintenance charges.
The latest development carries great significance as residents living in multistorey apartments in sectors 45, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 93, 93A and 93B, 100, 108, 119, 120, 121 and 137 in Noida have also been complaining that builders, and in some cases RWAs, have linked the electricity bill with the common area maintenance charges. In fact, electricity is disconnected if both charges are not paid in advance, they say.
The power discom clarified that charges levied via prepaid meters were meant exclusively for electricity supplied by PVVNL.
Raghvendra Yadav, executive engineer of Division-I, Noida, said that he had already ordered in the case of Supertech Capetown that maintenance charges could not be deducted from the prepaid electricity charges. He said that this applied to all group housing societies or builders under his jurisdiction. He also said that PVVNL did not deal with common area maintenance charges and that, though he would not issue a fresh letter to builders, electricity bills would have to be separated from water tariff and common area maintenance charges.
He warned that single-point connection holders had to follow the order and if they failed to do so, an FIR would be lodged against them. He said, “If residents have an issue with power billings, they should register complaints in writing with my office.”
After delinking maintenance charges from the electricity bill in Supertech Capetown, PVVNL has extended its decision to all societies and builders under its jurisdiction
Mukul Singhal, superintending engineer of PVVNL, said, "Domestic bulk supply single-point connection holders have to adhere to the guidelines issued by Uttar Pradesh Electricity Regulatory Commission [UPERC]. The guidelines clearly say that since a single-point connection was given to builders or an association of a group housing society, the collection of revenue from the consumer should be on a no-profit-no-loss basis."
Singhal added that since it was the executive engineer who entered into an agreement with the builder before a housing project was given power connection, the responsibility to issue a letter asking the builder to comply with the UPERC’s guidelines lay with him.
When City Spidey spoke to executive engineers of PVVNL, Division-I and Division-III, under whose jurisdiction most multistorey apartments and condominiums in Noida are, they said that single-point power connection holders had to follow the guidelines.
PVVNL’s decision to settle the issue once and for all is understandable, considering its decision in Supertech Capetown’s case, where residents had approached the power discom, setting a precedent for similar cases in other societies. In fact, residents in other societies have either taken up the matter with the body or have been gearing up to do so.
Residents of Homes 121, in Sector 121, Noida, have already registered a complaint with SK Gupta, chief engineer, PVVNL. Pankaj Goyal, executive engineer of Division-III, said that he had received complaints from residents of Amrapali Sapphire, Sector 45. He added that he had advised them to complain at his Sector 16A office if the builder did not follow rules.
On the other hand, the apartment owners association (AOA) of Prateek Wisteria, Sector 77, has also written to the builder to issue separate bills for water, electricity and common area maintenance. Yudhhveer Singh, an AOA member, said, “If the builder doesn’t cooperate, we will approach the power department.” Residents of Paramount Floraville, Sector 137, shared similar concerns.