After holding protests over the last two weeks against the developer for clubbing the maintenance and electricity bills, there’s finally good news for the residents of Ardee City.
Agreeing to maintain status quo, the developer has assured in writing that it will split the two bills and start sending them separately to residents from Monday. Representatives of the developer, Ardee Infrastructure Private Limited, said as much in the presence of the police and Ardee residents who even enforced a road blockade on Sunday to force the developer to act.
The developer had raised maintenance fee from ₹365 to ₹1,600 in July 2013 despite strong objection from residents. Later, the matter landed to district consumers’ forum, which in turn, directed the developer to roll back the hike. The residents have been paying electricity bill to Ardee Infrastructure Private Limited as opposed to Ardee Maintenance Services Private Limited.
In May, the developer clubbed electricity bill with the one issued by Ardee maintenance services. The residents were up in arms over it.
Anil Hasija, vice president Ardee Infrastructure Private Limited, said, “We have agreed to maintain the status quo in this regard. This would mean that the Ardee management will send maintenance and electricity bills separately till further direction from the district administration. A meeting has been scheduled this Tuesday with SDM North, Bharat Bhushan Gogia, in this regard.”
The decision to send separate bills came as a big win for the residents who held protests thrice over the past two weeks, blocking roads and forcing police, administration and the developer to resolve the issue.
Soon after receiving the two bills on one sheet on May 4, the residents dubbed the clubbing illegal and took out protests in the quest of relief.
“The developer raised the maintenance bill from ₹365 to ₹1,600 in 2013. The issue later moved to the district consumers’ forum. We had since decided against paying the maintenance bill. We, however, continued to pay electricity bill. Even the direction of the Haryana Electricity Regulatory Authority in this context is in our favour as it clearly said that the developer cannot club the two bills,” Chaitali Mandhotra, member of the working group of 20, Ardee City, said.
In 2016, the residents formed WG comprising 20 active members to take up issues over civic maintenance and electricity in the larger interest of the people.
Praveen Yadav, WG member, said, “An order by DHBVN says clearly that clubbing electricity charges with other bills clearly goes against the direction of the HERC.”