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Govt to provide separate electricity connections to apartment owners, says minister

Residents had demanded separate electricity connections claiming the builders delay payment of their power bills

noida Updated: Sep 01, 2017 22:26 IST
Vinod Rajput
(From left) UP ministers Suresh Rana, Suresh Khanna and Satish Mahana addresses queries on homebuyers’ issues during a press conference in Greater Noida on Friday.
(From left) UP ministers Suresh Rana, Suresh Khanna and Satish Mahana addresses queries on homebuyers’ issues during a press conference in Greater Noida on Friday.(Virendra Singh Gosain/HT PHOTO)

The Uttar Pradesh government will provide electricity connection to an apartment owner directly in an apartment complex, urban housing minister Suresh Khanna said on Friday.

The decision comes after apartment owners’ demand for the same. As per the ongoing policy, a builder obtains electricity connection for an apartment complex and supplies it to individual apartment owners thereby imposing inflated tariff.

In many Noida apartment complexes, builders don’t pay power bill and apartment owners suffer, alleged homebuyers while meeting the minister in Greater Noida on Thursday.

“There are multiple issues faced by the apartment owners in complexes, as there are complaints that the builder has been harassing consumers by overcharging. There are complaints of some builders collecting electricity bill from apartment owners, but not paying the UP power corporation limited, thereby resulting in disconnection of supply. Therefore, on the demand of apartment owners, we have decided to ensure that they get separate electricity connection for their respective flats. We will work to overcome legal hurdles and make that happen,” said Khanna.

In an apartment complex, the builder also charges fee for electricity supply consumed in common areas such as club, corridors, roads and lifts etc.

“If the UP government allows separate connection, then how will it provide electricity to each apartment through a dedicated line in old projects? I think consumers demand separate connections because there is mistrust among some builders and consumers. If this trust deficit could be addressed, then issues could be solved. Providing a separate connection is not that easy for the government,” Amit Modi, vice-president of CREDAI, (western UP), said.

However, power corporation officials do not see any problem in providing separate connections to flat owners. “We can provide separate electricity connection to an apartment owner in old or new apartment complex without any problems. The builder or residents’ welfare association (RWAs) should provide us with the required infrastructure such as panel, wire and transformer, etc in the building. It can happen easily and the builder can obtain a separate connection for common areas, “ Rakesh Rana, superintendent engineer, UPPCL Noida, said.

Apartment owners, however, welcomed the decision of the UP government.

“We do not trust our builder because he has been cheating on us for a long time. It will be great if we get a separate connection, as we could manage the same as we want. And we will pay as per our consumption. And those, who do not pay for electricity in a complex, would not get supply. However, the government should work out how common areas will get the supply to run facilities,” RK Shrivastava, a resident of Amrapali Sapphire complex, said.

Read I Attention homebuyers! Official says 82 Greater Noida housing projects critical

In many Noida apartment complexes, the builders do not pay electricity charges to the UPPCL. As a result, residents suffer when the UPPCL disconnects supply.

“UPPCL had in August stopped electricity supply because the builder did not pay power dues worth ₹1.10 crore despite collecting the same from consumers. Therefore, a separate connection can solve problems in troubled complexes,” Seema Arora, a resident of Silicon City, said.

Residents in apartment complexes hope that the UP government will soon work out legal hurdles coming in the way of separate connection in complexes.

“This issue is between the consumer and the UPPCL. Let us see when the government implements this,” Atal Kumar Rai, additional chief executive officer of the Noida authority, said.