The proposal to supply uninterrupted power to condominiums and malls at a premium has met with stuff resistance from residents of the Millennium City. The Dakshin Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (DHBVN) currently supplies electricity at the bulk rate of Rs 4.73 per unit (base price Rs 3.5 and 83 paise fuel surcharge). The discom had proposed to sell power at an inflated rate of Rs 7.75 per unit in return for assured 24/7 supply.
Terming the move an anti-competitive practice, resident bodies have threatened to move the Competition Commission of India (CCI) against the decision. They will also file their objections with the state regulator, Haryana Electricity Regulatory Commission (HERC).
Residents' welfare associations (RWA) also fear that the actual cost per unit in such a situation might be Rs 9 per unit as the price tag would also include the fuel surcharge at the rate of Rs 1 per unit. Moreover, RWAs said the discom is duty-bound to provide 24/7 supply at current rates to feeders that register less than 3% AT&C (Aggregate Technical and Commercial) losses. The policy had been announced early this year. Since most condominiums register less than 1% AT&C loss, they are automatically entitled to uninterrupted supply.
DHBVN chairman and managing director Devender Singh had told HT last week that the discom was planning to set up 'reliability feeders' that would ensure 24/7 power at a special tariff. Though Singh claimed residents had welcomed the proposal, several others have raised doubts over the plan.
"DHBVN is liable to provide us uninterrupted supply at the existing rates. All consumers are equally entitled to get smooth power supply, irrespective of their paying capacity. The proposal is anti-competitive," said Colonel (retired) Sardavan Oberoi, a resident of a posh condominium on Sohna Road.
Oberoi, who has written to the Competition Commission of India (CCI) over the issue, said the DHBVN will misuse its monopoly in the market.
Gautam Gulati, the RWA president of another posh high-rise at Sector 30, said that it would be "ridiculous" to pay the inflated price. "If the extra charge were to be paid only to avail electricity during power shortages, it would have been feasible. But paying Rs 7.75 throughout the year is not viable for us," he said.
Oberoi said that despite a national electricity policy in place since 2005 to have SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition), the DHBVN has not introduced it. As per SCADA, DHBVN is supposed to compensate consumers for power outages.