Experts pointed many loopholes in the policy which includes giving freehand to the builders to charge a whimsical amount to recover infrastructure cost.
The Uttar Pradesh government allowed the conversion of existing single point connection to multipoint connections with an aim to provide a big relief for the flat owners of high-rises. But, when it reached implementation level, it turned out that the policy may not actually benefit the flat owners.
Individual experts pointed many loopholes in the policy which includes giving freehand to the builders for charging the amount of their wishes from the flat owners to recover infrastructure cost for the conversion of single point connection to multipoint connections in the societies.
Residents of high-rises in Gautam Budh Nagar say the multipoint connection system was demanded to bring an end to builders’ arbitrary charges being imposed for the electricity supply. They say the government, however, seemed to forget that builders will impose hefty amount as new infrastructure cost.
For instance, the builder of Gaur City issued letters to the residents for seeking their consent for multipoint connection and also indicated that the flat owners will be required to pay approximately Rs 60,000 for the multipoint connection system.
The residents also alleged that builder lobby is deliberately trying to avoid implementation of multipoint connections knowing the fact that they would lose a big amount of money which they were garnering through high electricity charges.
Vikash Kumar, a resident of Panchsheel Apartments in Greater Noida West, said, “Builders lobby opposing this policy from the back end because they would lose 5 per cent extra charge which they impose on electricity bill of each flat owner. Builders also charge extra amount on fixed charges, and if the new system is introduced they would lose it.”
On the other hand, officials in Noida Power Company Ltd (NPCL), which has been asked to implement the policy in each high-rise within a deadline of March 2019, told City Spidey that new infrastructure would be mandatory for multipoint connection.
“NPCL’s connections would be separate from the backup connection (Diesel Generator). It is because, if fire catches in the line, then NPCL would be made responsible. Hence, it is mandatory to provide a new infrastructure for multipoint connection,” said a senior NPCL official, requesting not to be named.
When City Spidey sought the estimated cost to set up new infrastructure for transfer of power from HT (High Tension) panel to LT (Lower Tension) panel, the officials said, “It would depend on the individual society and builders.”
However, Manish Awasthi, another resident countered, saying, “Why residents would pay infrastructure cost when they have already paid for it during the electricity connection? Secondly, it would only require cables and some other systems which would not require the amount of money which the builders are asking for.”
The officials in NPCL also told City Spidey that almost all societies in Gautam Budh Nagar responded negatively on the policy.
“NPCL has issued two notices to all the societies at different times, but no one has responded so far. We would send them another notice to seek their reply. If the response would be the same, NPCL will escalate it to the UP State Electricity Regularity Commission. Some modifications may happen in the policy,” said an official on condition of anonymity.