For the past few days, residents of Palm Olympia, a highrise based in Sector 16C of Greater Noida, are divided into two groups over the deduction of maintenance charges from the pre-paid meters. One group is in favour of the developer-owned management firm, while the other one is opposing, saying it was illegal.
The management recently started deducting maintenance charges from the prepaid electricity meters of the flats. A section of the residents said that the meters are for power supply of each flat and the maintenance charges should not be deducted from them. They argued that the maintenance charges should be decided on the basis of the quality of services provided. They further said that the residents have the right to question if the management is failing to provide proper facilities.
“The management is deducting maintenance charge from the pre-paid meters, without even providing us adequate services. Therefore, one way or the other, the management is getting its money,” said a resident, on the condition of anonymity.
Why did management start deducting maintenance charges from pre-paid meters?
The residents claimed that ever since they have started living in their flats, they are not getting proper maintenance services. Annoyed with the poor services, some of the residents stopped paying maintenance charges.
"Even after the residents stopped paying the service charges, the maintenance company is continuously providing services to them. The company has several employees who are required to be paid for their works. After a certain period of time, the management had no other option but to deduct money from the pre-paid meters, which is being opposed by many," said another resident.
Meanwhile, some residents said that the lack of certain rules to collect maintenance charges resulted in the conflict.
"Palm Olympia is not the only society where such an issue prevails. And it is not a new issue. Lack of rules and consensus among the residents have failed in bringing a set of norms. The issue can be solved only when all the residents come together with an appropriate solution. I believe that if all the residents are united then the management will surely accept their demands,” Amit Tyagi, another resident of the society.
Recently, few residents of the society held a meeting to discuss this issue. They complained to the Noida Power Company Ltd (NPCL) and sought its intervention on the matter as it is the only power supplying agency.
Following the complaint of the residents, NPCL issued a notice to the builder. “We would like to inform you that as per the Uttar Pradesh Electricity Regulatory Commission (UPERC) guidelines, other charges, such as common area maintenance charges, water charges, club charges etc, shall not be deducted from the pre-paid electricity meter charges and the electricity supply of the consumers shall not be disconnected on the grounds of default in payment of other charges except for the electricity dues,” NPCL’s notice read.
It further read, “We would be compelled to take punitive action including disconnection of electricity supply of your housing complex if you fail to immediately withdraw the above-said charges from the electricity meters.”
NPCL’s warning of disconnecting the electricity supply of the entire society has raised another problem for the flat owners.
Anshul Singhal, who was among those who took the matter to NPCL, said, “If the power supply of the society is disconnected then we will be left with no option but to bear the cost of DG for power backup. Hence, NPCL should give us a permanent solution rather than disconnecting the power supply as we will have to suffer then.”