Residents across the city are puzzled about electricity charges after they received inflated bills for the last two months though the power supply remains erratic. The bills carry ‘sundry charges/allowances’ that have exceeded even the electricity consumption charges.
Electricity charges per unit have gone up from Rs10 to Rs 15 and is at par with charges on electricity consumed through generator sets. Residents are unhappy that discom officials have not given them a satisfactory reply.
“The electricity charges in my bill for April are Rs14,000 but the sundry charges are above Rs17,000, taking the total figure above Rs 31,000. I am unsure how arrears can be so high. Why are they charged suddenly and in bulk?” Niraj Kumar of Sector 10 said.
Some residents are also confused over the inclusion of heavy fuel surcharge.
“We received bills with heavy sundry charges and even fuel surcharge was hiked in bills for March and April. I met officials but there is no satisfactory reply from them. They just say these are arrear adjustments but do not give further clarification,” Harish Ahuja, general secretary of Sector 27 residents’ welfare association (RWA), said.
Earlier this month, various RWAs under the umbrella of Gurgaon Citizens’ Council had written to the Haryana Electricity Regulatory Commission, complaining that the Dakshin Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (DHBVN) added ‘sundry charges/allowances’ in their electricity bills without any clarification.
Residents who depend on generator sets end up paying more now. “The charges for backup power generator sets and supply from the DHBVN are almost equal now. Power from generators sets cost Rs 13-14 per unit,” Jitesh Sahgal of Richmond high-rise locality, said.
President of Sector 15 RWA Dinesh Agarwal said the DHBVN authorities claimed that sundry charges are levied for arrears of last year and they are included only in bills of consumers who have not paid those charges.
“When energy charges and fuel surcharge are levied, why are sundry charges added? And what percentage of the total bill constitute these charges?” a representative of Gurgaon Citizens’ Council said.
Sanjeev Chopra, superintending engineer (operations) of the DHBVN said there is no confusion over sundry charges. “Tariff was hiked in April last year. Increase in tariff was not charged in some bills because of some technical issue and those arrears are now charged in the bills,” Chopra said. He said sundry charges are not expected to reflect in future bills as they have been added in the bills of the last two months.
Strike hits power supply
A strike by DHBVN employees in support of the sacked contractual staffs affected power supply in some areas on Tuesday, as there was shortage of workforce to deal with faults in electricity lines. U Block of DLF Phase 2, Sushant Lok 1, sectors 64, 18, 17, 22-B, and 7 had power cuts for three to four hours. The employees said they will continue the strike on Wednesday also.