At least 5,000 residents of the upmarket Hamilton Court, Windsor Court and Regency Park–II condominiums in DLF City bailed themselves out on Sunday by paying ‘under protest’ a penalty of Rs 32.09 lakh to Dakshin Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (DHBVN) that had cut their power supply for ‘unauthorisedly selling’ electricity to a private school in its complex.
The three-day drama began on Friday when the condominium cut power to Shri Ram School. On Saturday, DHBVN cut the condominiums’ power only to restore it on Sunday after receiving the penalty cheque. Shri Ram School continues to be without power.
“We had no option but to pay. Had we not paid, we would have incurred an expenditure of Rs 2 lakh per day to run the diesel gensets to supply power to more than 1,000 apartments, run lifts etc,” said Brig. (Retd.) Kamal Sood, the condominium association president .
In October last, the DHBVN had sent the association a penalty notice of Rs 31.19 lakh for supplying power to the school at domestic rates. The Nigam termed the school a commercial venture and directed the association to cut its power. On Friday, the association cut the school’s power after the Nigam threatened to cut their supply.
The Shri Ram School authorities refused to comment on the issue and said that supply to the premises was cut despite the fact that the matter was subjudice in the state consumer tribunal. The school has nearly 1,800 students. The condominium also provided power back up to the school.
The Nigam officials said the condominium association had no right to “sell” power to the school at the domestic rate. The association has termed it harassment by the Nigam.
“We took a lenient view while deciding the penalty of Rs 31.19 lakh (Rs 32.09 lakh with interest) and took into account only the last 12 months. Had we calculated since 2006, when the association opted for a domestic bulk connection, the penalty may have been nearly Rs 1 crore,” Anurag Agarwal, MD DHBVN said.
He said the association could have opted for a non-domestic bulk supply connection in 2006 if it wanted to supply power to the school.
He said the vigilance department had detected unauthorised supply to the school in September and sent the association a notice to cut power to the school and pay the penalty.
Brig Sood said, “For the last 10 years, Hamilton Court, Windsor Court and RP-II Condominium Association has got electricity from DHBVN and has given it to the three complexes and Shri Ram School located in its premises,” said .
The association said it was not charging commercial rates from the school and was giving it power at the same rate of Rs 3.50 per unit at which it bought from the Nigam.