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Representative image

Common service connection for apartments records 1,500% increase

“The electricity bill for common utilities has gone up by 1,550 per cent. Tangedco has charged Rs 8 per unit and a fixed charge of Rs 200 for two months. It is very high and they should reduce it,” said Ramamorthy, a resident of the apartment.

CHENNAI: Residents of smaller apartments in Chennai were shocked after receiving a bi-monthly bill for common services connections that shot up by 1500 per cent for some.

An apartment at Lakshmipuram in Kolathur received a bill of Rs 1,320 for consuming 140 units for common lighting and water pump as against Rs 80 for 140 units previously. “The electricity bill for common utilities has gone up by 1,550 per cent. Tangedco has charged Rs 8 per unit and a fixed charge of Rs 200 for two months. It is very high and they should reduce it,” said Ramamorthy, a resident of the apartment.

He said that their bi-monthly consumption would vary from 80 to 220 units during the summer and their highest bill was about Rs 300. He said that his apartment comprises six flats and common services cover lights and a water pump. Following the tariff revision from September 10, Tangedco created a new tariff category 1-D for the common services in the apartments and group houses for Common lighting, water supply, lift, Sewerage treatment plant, Water treatment plant, Gym, Swimming pool and Fire hydrant facility. Under the Low Tension 1-D tariff, the consumer would be charged Rs 8 per unit and Rs 100 per kilowatt per month as fixed charges.

Under the previous tariff, common services like lighting, lifts and water supply came under the subsidised domestic tariff while the Gym, Swimming pool and Fire hydrant facility being charged a commercial tariff.

From November 10, consumers have started getting bi-monthly bills under revised the tariff for full usage. Several consumers have taken to social media to complain about the tariff hike. “Previous EB charges on our (small) flat common metre which is used for Light & Motor was 0 for 90 Units. But this month for just 70 Units, it was Rs 796 calculated at Rs 8 per unit and Rs 200 as a fixed charge. Massive Hike by #TNEB to overcome their losses caused by their inefficiency in operation & regular corruption. Poll promises are forgotten by @mkstalin, ” tweeted M Ravikannan.

Senthil, another consumer, wrote that apartment common EB rate is higher than commercial energy charges.” Charging Rs 8 per unit and fixed charges of Rs 400 to Rs 600. From Rs 300 rupees, the bill has now gone over Rs 2000 for two months, ” he lamented.

V Purushothaman, secretary, the Federation of Adayalampattu Residents Welfare Associations said Tangedco should roll back the tariff for the common services which is too high. “It is unfair to charge a part of the domestic consumer who are living in the apartment with the higher tariff for purely domestic usage, ” he said.

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