Noida residents want relaxation in paying electricity billsUpdated: Mar 31, 2020 22:20 IST
Days after parents in the city demanded exemption from paying the first quarter school fees in the wake of the financial slowdown due to the coronavirus outbreak, residents on Tuesday asked for extending the due date for payment of electricity bills.
“Most of the people in Noida with individual connections choose to pay the bills physically, which is a problem in the current scenario as the nationwide lockdown is in force. For those who are paying online, this is not an issue but for others it is. So, there should be a relaxation for the next two months -- April and May. Also, late fees should not be charged if there are delays during the ongoing crisis,” said KK Jain, secretary general, Federation of Noida Residents Welfare Association.
The residents further requested that if individuals are unable to pay bills on time, the power department should be lenient enough to not disconnect the connections.
“High-rises that came up after 2007 do not face this issue as most of them have prepaid connections. But we have individual meters and many residents are not used to paying the bills online. Also, water and electricity bills of common areas are paid by visiting the departments concerned. So, there should be some relaxation for the next couple of months at least. That is why we are requesting the reschedule of these bill dates,” said Rajiva Singh, president, Noida Federation of Apartment Owners Association.
For most individuals, bills are generated in the first week of the month.
“The March bills will be generated in the first week of April. Most people still pay them offline. The government is granting extensions for EMIs, so asking for relaxation for electricity bill payments is not a far fetched request,” said Rajeev Garg, president, RWA, Sector 27.
As electricity falls under essential services, the counters for bill payment continue to remain open. Officials of the Paschimanchal Vidyut Vitaran Nigam Limited (PVVNL) said that customers are not coming in and the department is also pushing for online payments.
“Even extra charges on debit or credit card payments have been waved off. So far, there have been no orders of any sort for relaxation in paying electricity bills. We haven’t received any complaints regarding this either, but if they do come, they may be taken into consideration eventually,” said VN Singh, chief engineer, PVVNL.
The district magistrate had earlier allowed maintenance staff to continue work in high-rises, making it convenient for the prepaid electricity users to get their offline recharge done.
Recently, parents of children in Noida schools had asked the institutions to exempt them from paying fees for the first quarter.
“We have requested the district magistrate and chief minister’s office to exempt parents from paying the first quarter fees in lieu of the current scenario, so that it doesn’t burden them,” K Arunachalam, secretary general, All Noida School Parents Association, had said.