Apartment dwellers, who have received the electricity bills after the upward revision of tariff announced by the Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (Tangedco), have been in for a shock over the steep rise in the bills.
As per the revised new power tariff, which came into effect in September, the supply to common area in small apartments has been brought under the LT-D category. The electricity usage such as the lighting in common places, elevators, motor pumps and others were included in the LT-D category, which was introduced for the first time by the Tangedco. The common utilities were classified as domestic consumption until the introduction of the recent tariff revision.
Under the revised tariff plan, Tangedco charges ₹ 8 per unit of power consumption for the common area. In addition to it, the Tangedco collects ₹ 200 a KV. After giving effect to the new tariff plan, the Tangedco officials conducted a survey in flats and residential buildings in gated communities to list out the power connections for common supply.
An apartment in State Bank Officer’s Colony on Lawsons Road in Cantonment, which has an elevator and 10 tube and LED lights, has received a bill for ₹ 7,440. It consumed 680 units. The break up of the power bills reads that ₹ 5,440 as current consumption charges and ₹ 2,000 as fixed charges. The residents association had paid ₹ 3,440 for consuming 740 units during the previous cycle.
Similar is the case for most of the small apartments in Srirangam and Thiruvanaikoil. They say that they have to pay at least 120% more than the amount paid for the previous cycles.
“The huge amount of user charges really hurt us. It has become a point of talk among the flat dwellers. Using lights and motor pumps does not involve any commercial activity. It is totally unfair to collect commercial tariff for residential usage,” says R.S. Ravi, a flat promoter, who is the Tiruchi chapter president of the Confederation of Real Estate Developers’ Association of India (CREDAI).
It is the collection of fixed charges that hurts the flat dwellers. An apartment that has an elevator requires about 20 KV of power load. For every KV of power, the apartment has to pay ₹ 200 towards fixed charges. The apartment that has 20 KV of power load will have to pay ₹ 2,000 as fixed charges alone.
Flat dwellers were forced to pay fixed charges for the power load. It was unacceptable. The State government should withdraw the LT-D category with immediate effect, said a flat resident.