Life of a 94-year-old resident living in a penthouse in an upscale condominium on Golf Course Road, Sector 53, almost came to a dead stop on Saturday when the power supply to his residence was cut off for more than 4.5 hours.
As the back-up power was also not functioning, Vidya Sagar Malhotra, 94, started suffocating. The nonagenarian had to be nebulised frequently as he suffers from cerebral ataxia, high blood pressure and a heart problem.
Electricity to Malhotra and three other apartments was snapped from 12 pm to 4:30 pm allegedly by Vipul Belmonte Apartment Residents’ Welfare Association for the reason that they were not paying common area maintenance charges.
Power supply to 23 residences was cut off a few months back on the same grounds, residents said.
Malhotra’s plea to restore electricity fell on deaf ears and the supply resumed only after intervention of senior police officials.
Residents said the residents welfare association (RWA) collects maintenance charges on the basis of the size of an apartment. However, as per government norms, the charges should be equal for all occupants of a locality.
Vipul Belmonte has 10 towers housing 20 penthouses, 48 units of five bedrooms, 104 units of four bedrooms, and 136 apartments of three bed rooms. Equal common area maintenance charges mean owners of four and three bedroom flats would have to pay more as compared to their current charges.
“All occupants are made to pay maintenance charges as per size of residences while common area facilities are shared equally by all. As per Haryana Registration and Regulation of Societies Act, 2012, maintenance charges should be equally divided irrespective of size of residences,” Vikram Singh, owner of a five-bedroom condominium, said.
Singh said electricity supply was illegally cut off to him and four others on Friday and Saturday. “Elderly Malhotra could have slipped into a critical condition as there was no electricity supply,” he said.
“If orders of court and government bodies are not followed, it will be disastrous. It is inhuman to cut electricity in late evening and on weekend with elderly staying at home,” Nina Gupta, a resident and former member of RWA executive council, said.
The aggrieved residents had moved the court and availed an injunction in June, stopping the RWA from disconnecting electricity and other services to residents.
Pankaj Kumra, retired chief engineer of Haryana Urban Development Authority (Huda), said the district registrar, firms and societies, Gurgaon, had in February directed the association to follow the norms but the RWA paid no heed to the directions.
Electricity supply is covered in Right to Life under Article 21 of the Constitution and no one can be denied the facility without valid grounds, he said. “We have paid all electricity charges till date,” Kumar said.
“Electricity of some residents was cut off as their charges for maintenance and common area electricity were pending. I do not want to comment on the issue of equal maintenance charges, as the matter is subjudice,” RWA president Anil Sud said.