In what could be an early New Year gift for residents of VVIP Addresses in Raj Nagar Extension (RNE), the society AOA has reduced backup electricity charges from Rs 18.52 per unit to Rs 10 per unit. But the move has raised a few eyebrows as well.
The reduced charges came into effect from December 1st.
Madan Tyagi, AOA Secretary, said the deductions were made after studying the patterns of expenditure and consumption of users over a period of three months.
“We took data from August to September and studied the units of electricity consumed by our residents; the amount of diesel required to generate the electricity and the Annual Maintenance Charges (AMC) for the generator set. We arrived at this reduced figure after ensuring that all the needs of the society are adequately met,” Tyagi explained.
He emphasised that the motive was not to appease the residents, but to bring about transparency in the expenditure. “If we needed to hike the maintenance and backup power charges, we would have done that as well.”
However, at a time when the rate of backup power in high-rises of Raj Nagar Extension, Crossings Republik and Indirapuram has steadied at around Rs 18-20 per unit, this reduction has certainly raised a few questions on the methods used to arrive at the magic number.
Anand Yadav, AOA Secretary of Gaur Cascade in RNE, lauded the decision, but doubted whether the relief for residents would last long. “The period they used to calculate the running cost of DG set is not apt, as loadshedding around that time is not too frequent. Hence, back-up power is not consumed as much. They should have taken data for peak summer months from May to July,” Yadav added.
In its defence, the AOA said it took charge of the maintenance from August itself, and hence could not have done the calculations for summer months. Earlier, the maintenance was looked after by the builder. “We demanded data for earlier months, but the builder did not oblige us,” Tyagi added.
The decision of VVIP AOA puts pressure on other societies of RNE to review their backup charges, but there are detractors.
Alok Kumar, president of the Federation of Apartments Owners Association, Ghaziabad, said generators are volatile machines, and keeping them operational at such low costs is untenable.
Kumar also said that apart from the AMC, a reserve fund is required to face sudden damages in the generators, which can cost lakhs and cannot be paid from the Common Area Maintenance [CAM] charges. “This reserve fund is maintained with the charge of backup power and is not possible at a rate this low!” he reacted.
However, Tyagi responded by saying that the AOA has considered all aspects before making the cut.
Meanwhile, apart from backup power, VVIP AOA has also reduced CAM from Rs 2.15 per sq ft to 1.80 per sq ft. Also, residents paying a CAM of less than Rs 5,000 have been exempted from the GST bracket.
The residents of VVIP are elated with the decisions.
Sudesh Bhatia, a resident of the society, said it feels like New Year’s gift from the AOA. “With the deductions, we will be saving over Rs 2,000 rupees every month. We are on cloud 9!” she added.