Residents of Ardee City on Thursday held a protest against the builder for clubbing the three bills which they earlier paid separately — electricity, maintenance, and sewerage. The residents alleged that they had a legal dispute with the developer over payment of maintenance and the clubbing of bills was meant to harass them.
Angry residents entered the developer’s site office shouting slogans during their protest. The protesters included several senior citizens and children.
However, the protest was called off after the intervention of the assistant town planner(ATP) who directed the builder to submit reasons for issuing the combined bills, within four days. He also assured a third party audit of the use of maintenance charges over the years.
“It’s the height of arrogance and high-handedness on the part of the builder. He neither fears law, administration nor the wrath of residents. We feel that the government is allowing the Ardee builder do whatever it wants and deny them their basicrights. There is no one to listen to us. We are demand they issue separate bills as clubbing of bills is illegal and also results in harassment,” Chaitali Mandhotra, a resident, said.
“The builder had been inflating electricity bills for a few months to force residents to pay extra amount in advance. Senior citizens, youths, and children have often held protests on the issue. Today, we held a sit-in in the scorching heat outside the Ardee (builder’s) office demanding separate electricity and maintenance bills,” Lisa Mody, another resident, said.
The group has written to the town planning department and the urban local bodies department drawing their attention to inadequate power infrastructure in the locality.
RS Bhath, assistant town planner (ATP) HUDA, “We have heard the grievances and have asked the builder to submit a reply regarding this matter within four days. The problems faced by the residents will be resolved.”
Ardee Infrastructure Private Limited, however, said the management has applied for an additional 5 MW supply to the DHBVN and was waiting for a nod from the department.
Anil Hasija, general manager, Ardee Infrastructure Limited, said, “We have already applied for the additional 5MW load and we are hopeful of getting the approval soon. We will upgrade the infrastructure accordingly.”