In a move intended to benefit lakhs of flat owners across Uttar Pradesh, the state government in July 2019 allowed individual power connections to those living in flats and multi-storeyed buildings. However, the implementation in high rises of Noida is going through multiple obstacles.
As per PVVNL guideline, for obtaining a multi-point connection a society must obtain the consent of least 51 per cent residents within a week. However, for the residents, it is proving to be a herculean task.
Pashchimanchal Vidyut Vitaran Nigam Limited, sent out 117 letters to developers as well as apartment owner associations (AOA) of respective societies informing them to get consent from the residents willing to have direct power supply connection from the corporation. However, the corporation has received a feeble response.
“We have not obtained a clear response from the residents,” an official from the corporation informed.
He further explained, ''Response from residents is as minimal as nil. Till date, no resident from any society has come forward with a proposal that he has obtained mandatory consent of 51 per cent from other residents and the pilot project for multipoint connection can be set up at his/her society. They are taking time to decide whether they want it or not.''
The residents said that though they are in a dire need of a new connection, however, the condition imposed by the state electricity regulatory commission is proving to be a major hindrance for the implementation of the multi-point connections in the city. They further explained that the new system is required so that they are saved from paying the high electricity bill raised by the developers.
Rajiva Singh, President of Noida Federation of Apartment Association for high rises said, “It is not a big task to get residents' consent from a society where few residents live, say, for example, 50-100 families. But it's a tedious task to get consent from the society where thousands of families are residing as its difficult to gather them together at a time.”
There are societies where developers and apartment owner associations are against the implementation of the multi-point connection. The reason behind the same is that when residents of these societies stop paying maintenance charges due to any reason, the developer or AOA uses the electricity payments, which the residents pay through pre-paid metres, for deduction of the maintenance.
The new connection will cause more financial burden on the consumers as they will be required to pay the supply infrastructure cost also. The cost of obtaining the new connection will vary from Rs 3000 to Rs 17000.
Singh said, “For acquiring a new connection, the residents will have to pay more. Therefore, due to this, they might not consider switching over to a multi-point connection from a single-point connection. Though the new connection may benefit them in the long run, they might not consider taking it due to the additional cost required to have a new direct connection from the corporation.''
Not only the residents, the corporation too is not showing any interest in implementing it considering the challenges it will have to face.
A Noida based journalist said, “If the multipoint connection is implemented successfully, more number of residents will show their interest in obtaining it. The corporation will also face a tough challenge to monitor the new connections considering less number of staff it has. Due to the reason, the corporation is not paying serious attention to implementing the new scheme.”