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Ardee infra directed to refund additional charges in electricity bills

The order comes two years after residents moved a petition in the HERC in August 2017, stating the builder charged them 12% of the total electricity bill per month under categories like ‘administrative’, or others, in violation of HERC provisions.

gurgaon Updated: Apr 29, 2019 04:21 IST
Dhananjay Jha
Dhananjay Jha
Hindustan Times, Gurugram
herc,aipl,dakshin haryana bijli vitran nigam
Residents had, in April 2016, taken the matter up with the Dakshin Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (DHBVN), which also said the additional collections of 12% were against HERC provisions.(HT Photo )

The Haryana Electricity Regulatory Commission (HERC), on April 11, asked Ardee Infrastructure Private Limited (AIPL) to refund the charges it collected under the ‘administrative/service’ head in electricity bills between 2003 and 2018 by it to residents. Petitioners, however, claimed they received the order on April 27.

The order comes two years after residents moved a petition in the HERC in August 2017, stating the builder charged them 12% of the total electricity bill per month under categories like ‘administrative’, or others, in violation of HERC provisions.

Residents had, in April 2016, taken the matter up with the Dakshin Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (DHBVN), which also said the additional collections of 12% were against HERC provisions.

“AIPL has, for years, has been charging an additional 12% in the monthly electricity bill. As a reaction to the letter from the DHBVN asking the builder not to collect the same, AIPL started charging the 12% amount as ‘Upkeep Charges of HT Lines, Transmission/Commercial Losses’ effective July 2016,” the HERC order said.

“The commission directs the AIPL to follow the various provisions of HERC and refund the amount overcharged in electricity billing cycles, failing which appropriate proceedings under the terms of Section 142 of the Electricity Act, 2003 shall be initiated,” the order said.

Nihal Mandhotra, general secretary of the residents’ welfare association (RWA) of Ardee City, who was present in court during the last hearing, said, “This is a big victory for us, as we collected funds from residents to fight the case in court on our own and have finally won. We have already been facing a tough time in terms of civic maintenance and poor electricity supply in the colony. In June last year, we got a direct electricity connection from the DHBVN to get rid of builder and we succeeded.”

Anil Hasija, senior vice president, AIPL, said, “I have not seen the HERC order yet and will not comment in this regard without going into its contents.”

HERC was established in August 1998 as an independent statutory body as per the provision of the Haryana Electricity Reform Act, 1997. Its order can be challenged in the high court and the Supreme Court.

First Published: Apr 29, 2019 04:21 IST