Residents of Vaastu Cooperative Housing Society Ltd. in Sector 56 got a rude shock last year when a Huda notice said their sewerage connection was unauthorised. The Haryana Urban Development Authority (Huda) also slapped a bill of more than Rs 12 lakh for the past eight years.
“We had taken possession of our flats in 2004. Since then, we were being billed for water but the sewerage charges were consistently described as zero. Suddenly after eight years, Huda officials realised ours was an unauthorised connection,” said president of the society, IS Malik, a retired Bhakhra Nangal project engineer.
Residents say if they had been using the sewerage system illegally, they should have been informed earlier.
“The billing cycle is monthly. We were charged for water in the same bill where sewer charges were shown zero. Was the Huda not aware that a society using water would also produce sewage?” asked an agitated Abhay Gupta, a resident and an IT professional at Genpact.
“It is highly questionable that we have been penalized at a rate that is applicable to those who have a connection and choose not to pay. Even if we were at fault, why did it take eight years for the Huda to identify that? We are ready to pay the penalty but the amount is too big,” said KK Behl, society secretary and ex-chief engineer of the Dakshin Haryana Bijli Vitaran Nigam (DHVBN).
When asked about the matter, Huda superintending engineer RK Kakkar said, “I am not aware of the issue. The residents had met me but I keep meeting so many people. Also, these people don’t present the real picture. Please talk to Naresh Pawar, the executive engineer, for the real story.”
However, Pawar could not be reached despite repeated calls and a text message.
Moreover, residents said, Huda did not have a moral right to charge them for sewerage as the civic body had simply shifted the sewage from the colony to a nearby green belt.
Even the water supply, for which they pay, is poor.
According to the water bill, Malik said, the average supply came to just over 30 litres daily per household. On top of that, the water is so dirty that the water meter has to be cleaned once a month, he added.