Residents feel cheated by both Noida Authority and their builders. Here's why.
In yet another unfair practice by builders, residents find themselves penalised without cause. A few builders in Noida have consistently failed to pay water charges to Noida Authority, notching up the bill to several lakhs. And Noida Authority, silent for all these days about the unpaid water bills, have suddenly woken up and slapped the AOAs with huge sums, along with a notice that if pending bills were not cleared by April 1, their water connections would be snipped.
Now residents are at their wits' end, as this is the first they have heard about of the issue. They say they have diligently been paying the builders their water charges every year, but had no clue that they were not being deposited to Noida Authority. To top it all, Noida Authority has also silently been charging interest on the unpaid amounts.
Anurag Dhanda, a resident of JM Orchid in Sector 76, told City Spidey that residents were living in the society for the past four years and now all of a sudden Noida Authority has slapped them with a bill of Rs 70 lakh, including interest. “The AOA was first formed in 2016, and now in February 2018, we get this notice from Noida Authority about disconnection of the water line!” Dhanda added.
Alok Shroff, a resident of Sunshine Helios in Sector 78, said they had received a bill of Rs 21 lakh from Noida Authority. "We even met officials of Noida Authority's water department, telling them we should not be penalised for something that is not our fault. If the Authority has to take action, it should be against the builder and not us,” Shroff added.
Col P Chandra, a resident of Aditya Urban Casa in Sector 78, said that their pending amount was Rs 59 lakh, including an interest of Rs 13 lakh. “This will put thousands of families in jeopardy," he said. "How can one live without a water connection? And why should families suffer for no fault of theirs?"
He also questioned why Noida Authority did nothing to exact the bills over the past years, just charging interest over interest on the arrears. How were the flat owners to know what was going on between Noida Authority and the builders?
SC Arora, a senior project engineer with Noida Authority, told City Spidey that when an AOA was formed, it should demand a no-dues certificate from the builder. If the builder didn't give them that, it was not the Authority's fault.
"The water charges will have to be borne by whoever's name the water connection is registered in," he added. "If the AOA has transferred the water connection in its name from the builder, then there's no way out but for it to pay the pending bills."