COIMBATORE: The Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (Tangedco) has started issuing notices to the office-bearers of resident welfare associations, asking them to convert the domestic electricity connection that is used for common facilities into commercial connection.
The move comes after Tangedco officials found that the residential flats/apartments were using electricity lines meant for domestic purposes for reserve osmosis water treatment, fire hydrant system and sewage water treatment plants during their recent round of inspections.
There are around 100 flats/apartments in the district, housing thousands of families. Converting the electricity connection into commercial category would hurt them financially.
Representatives of apartments said as per the new plan they would be charged commercial tariff for common facilities other than water pumps and lifts. “It was only recently that Tangedco had brought common facilities such as libraries, amphitheatres and sports facilities under the commercial connection.”
Office-bearers of resident welfare associations said they would have to invest anywhere between Rs50,000 and Rs3 lakh to get a new connection and change the existing wiring. Individuals residing in an apartment would have to spend an additional Rs50-Rs100.
K Senthil Kumar, secretary, Federation of Coimbatore Apartments Association, said it was the duty of the local bodies to take care of sewage water and provide potable water. “Apartments have shared the responsibility with the local bodies by installing the facilities, but now they are forced to pay for the same. There are around 70 apartments with our federation, which was created recently to address their woes. We have advised our members to raise their objection.”
He said they were planning to take up the issue with the state government. “We are also preparing to present our grievances before the Tamil Nadu Electricity Regulation Commission (TNERC).”
K Kathirmathiyon, secretary, Coimbatore Consumer Cause, said there was no logic in converting the common facilities at the residential flats under the commercial tariff, as commercial activities were not taking place there. “It may not be a problem for the new apartments. But residents are facing difficulties every time common facilities are converted into commercial tariff. TNERC should intervene and direct Tangedco not to enforce the new rules. It can be put on hold until the next tariff order is finalized.”