Tenants in Delhi too can now claim power subsidy
Tenants in Delhi can now avail the government’s power bill waivers and subsidies by applying for prepaid electricity meters, chief minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Wednesday.
To get such meters installed, the tenants will have to call the helpline number of concerned power distribution companies in their area. They will then be required to produce an identification document having their address and a rent agreement/receipt.
The scheme has been named ‘Mukhyamantri Kirayedar Bijli Meter Yojana’, under which the prepaid meters can be availed with an initial investment of Rs 6,000 — which includes, Rs 3,000 as security (refundable) and an equal share of installation cost, Kejriwal said. The announcement comes ahead of the Delhi assembly election that is scheduled to take place early next year.
Earlier, there was a provision for tenants to get separate meters and avail the subsidy scheme. But, that required acquiring a No-Objection Certificate (NoC) from the landlord, which was often denied for fear of alleged encroachment of properties, the chief minister said during a press conference.
“Tenants were not able to get a separate power meter so far because they were required to take an NoC from the homeowner to get an independent connection. We have removed this requirement, so that tenants can now get a Kiyaredar Meter using just two documents — rent agreement/receipt or any identity card,” said Kejriwal.
But, Kejriwal clearly added, that in case of any dispute between the tenant and the landlord, the government will not intervene.
Ever since the Aam Aadmi Party government announced its power subsidy scheme in 2015, many of those living on rent have not been able to claim benefits as they complained that landlords often insisted on getting sub-meters for their households and charging them a fixed amount per unit. The rates would often range between Rs 6-10 per unit, depending on the size of the house and the locality.
Madhumita Sharma, who lives in a rented flat with other flatmates in Malviya Nagar and pays Rs 8 per unit, said, “The initiative is good, but I am still wondering if my landlord will agree. My rent agreement states that the cost of electricity will be Rs 8 per unit. Will this not violate the agreement?”
Under the existing power subsidy scheme, Delhiites do not have to pay bills for electricity consumption of up to 200 units or bills up to Rs 800. The AAP government also gives 50% subsidy on bills for power consumption between 201 and 400 units.
Kejriwal also sought to allay fears among landlords, saying they should not become “insecure” regarding the new scheme. As the name suggests, the scheme is for tenants and so the meters will be installed in their names.
“The ‘tenant’ word will also be clearly mentioned on the meters. Tenants will never be able to claim themselves as a landlord under any condition using such meters,” the chief minister assured.