Occupancy certificate must for power, water connections

Move aimed at preventing illegal structures coming up in City

Occupancy certificate must for power, water connections

The Urban Development Department has recently issued a circular making occupancy certificate (OC) mandatory for obtaining electricity and water connections for the newly constructed buildings.

In the circular signed by the Under Secretary, UDD, the Bruhat Bangalore Mahangara Palike (BBMP), the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) and other local bodies have been directed to look into encroachments and violations of the building bylaws and issue OCs.

The Karnataka Power Transmission Corporation Limited (KPTCL) and the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) have been directed to provide power and water connection only when the property owners submit a no objection certificate (NoC) or an OC from the civic agencies.

The move is aimed at preventing illegal structures coming up in the City and to check violation of building bylaws.

The circular, a copy of which is available with Deccan Herald, says that if there is any violation after this, the executive engineers concerned will be held responsible and a disciplinary action will be initiated against them. This decision was taken in a high-level meeting chaired by the Chief Secretary in May, earlier this year, to discuss the issue.

The Energy Department, referring to this circular, on September 9 wrote to all the electricity supply companies (Escoms) in the State, listing necessary steps to be taken to prevent violations of building bylaws.

In addition, the Chief Electrical Inspectorate issued a circular to its subordinate officials on October 16, to insist on the occupancy certificate from the applicants when they provide the safety certificate.

Initially, this decision will be implemented in Bengaluru and it will be extended to rest of the State gradually.

However, as per Section 43 of the Electricity Act, 2003, there is universal supply obligation on the part of the distribution companies as the law mandates that within one month from the date of application by a consumer, the distribution company is bound to provide power supply.

This circular has nothing to do with the Chief Inspector of Electricity (CIE), a statutory body functioning under the Electricity Act, 2003.

“The CIE has directed the electricity inspectors functioning under it to insist upon OC to be produced right at the time of the work completion certificate. The work completion certificate is given by the electricity contractor after the completion of the external and the internal wiring. The building will be in its nascent condition when the completion report is issued,” said a power expert on condition of anonymity.

Interestingly, neither the CIE nor the energy department has cited any legal provision that empowers them to issue such a circular.

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