The Pashchimanchal Vidyut Vitran Nigam Ltd (PVVNL) issued a fresh circular to residential societies asking them to evolve a consensus on converting single-point connections into multi-point ones in Greater Noida.
The power distribution agency has set a deadline of November 30 for the societies to come up with their consensus. It warned that if the societies failed to get mandatory concurrence of flat owners up to 51 percent, it would be considered that consumers prefer existing system of power supply in their flats.
A similar circular was issued earlier too. But, neither builders nor Apartment Owners Association (AOA) were able to get concurrence of 51 per cent flat owners. What’s more, the managements of the societies opposed the provision of 51 per cent flat owners’ consent, alleging that this mandatory provision was a hurdle in implementing the new system.
Nearly 14 months have passed since the state government gave its nod to implement multi-point connection in high rises. Lack of clarity, especially on estimated expenses required for the new infrastructure and demand of hefty amounts from the flat owners, was the reason behind the controversy.
“People had opposed multi-point connection because of the high expenses. Most of them have already paid huge sums for power connection. They don’t want to spend the money all over again. Setting a deadline would not serve any purpose because people want to know how much they have to shell out for new system and how it will benefit them,” asked Vikas Kumar, president of AOA, Panchsheel Greens in Greater Noida West.
“People also want to know who will repair in case of any fault surfacing in main power supply. The question arises since the management won’t take this responsibility as there would be direct power supply,” he added.
Persistent opposition to the new system from the residents forced the Uttar Pradesh Electricity Regulatory Commission (UPERC) to amend the policy. UPERC reintroduced the amended multi-point system on recommendation of power supplying agencies putting a slab system to give benefit to individual consumer on per unit basis.
While the Uttar Pradesh government has made the multi-point connection mandatory in high rises, lack of concurrence of flat owners proving a hindrance for the power supplying companies to implement the system.
The only power agency in Greater Noida, Noida Power Corporation Ltd (NPCL) is assigned with the task of not only to implementing the system but also convincing the residents and assuring them that the new system would benefit them at a minimum cost.
Rajiva Singh, president of Noida Federation of Apartment Owners Association, said, “People are willing to have new system because it would be easy for them to pay to the power supply agency. They can also raise their queries with concerning authority. Their main concern is the amount they paid during possession.”
Singh continued, “The residents are not sure whether the new system would benefit them in long run. There are several uncertainties attached to it. The clause on mandatory consent of 51 per cent flat owners is a major setback. The government or the power supplying agencies need to find a way out where relaxation can be provided to the residents and new system can introduce at minimum cost otherwise confusion will continue and people will not accept it.”
Earlier, the deadline for multi-point system was March 31, 2019 and the NPCL carried out a survey in several societies in Greater Noida West to check feasibility of the new infrastructure. However, it could not be implemented even in a single society.
“Residents of high rises are undoubtedly ready to accept the new system but they have some queries which we are trying to answer in detail. It has observed that the people are interested in getting the benefit but very few come in meetings. Recently, a public meeting was held on this purpose which was attended by hardly 200 residents,” said Tarun Chauhan, a senior official with NPCL.
In fact, the NPCL too has accepted that the expenses for the new infrastructure have been a key issue with among the consumers. However, despite various hurdles in its implementation, the NPCL claimed to have found a way to convince the residents to accept the multi-point power connection.
Chauhan added, “We are in a process to find a mechanism under which the new system can be introduced with minimum expenses. It won’t require extra infrastructure for new system. Power supply from main line and DG can run with one connection, only two separate meters would be required. People need to understand that it is mandatory to implement multi-point connection.”
On recommendation of power consumers in high rises in Noida, Greater Noida, Ghaziabad and other parts of the state, the Uttar Pradesh government had in July 2018 given its nod to convert existing electricity supply system to multi-point. The residents of the societies are yet to make an unanimous decision to accept the proposed system.