Bescom shocks East, South East Bengaluru apartments

Bescom shocks East, South East Bengaluru apartments

Several big apartment complexes across South East and Eastern Bengaluru have been given a ‘shock treatment’ by the Bangalore Electricity Supply Company (Bescom) for operating effluent treatment plants (ETP) and fire fighting stations on their premises.

Charging the apartment complexes with misusing electricity for these installations, Bescom slapped notices asking them to cough up charges to the tune of several lakhs.

Caught off guard by Bescom’s disregard for rules, the agitated residents’ associations have decided to take legal recourse. The Bescom vigilance wing inspected some apartments on Kanakapura and Bannerghatta roads in April and alleged that they have been misusing electricity. They registered a case and asked them to pay back billing charges worth lakhs.

According to the copies of notices served to Purva High Lands Apartment on Kanakapura road, accessed by DH, Bescom has directed the complex to pay Rs 39.66 lakh as back billing charges and threatened further action if it failed to pay up. Though the ETPs and fire stations are generally categorised under LT-5 tariff for commercial use, in this case the apartments were using it entirely for domestic purposes and paid tariff under LT-2 tariff.

Recognising the need for ETPs, the Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission (KERC) categorised EPTs under domestic in its recent order effective from April 1.

However, the Bescom vigilance’s notices have left the residents in shock. A junior engineer from Bescom’s S-12 sub-division said ETPs have been categorised as domestic and they have issued notices as they were directed to do so.

Govind Sridharan, president of Purva High Lands Apartment Owners’ Association said, “The notices have been served as per the powers vested with them. Previously, there was no categorisation of tariff on these and technically we have not used them for any commercial purpose. In a way, these notices diffuse the very purpose of KERC’s recent orders. We will file objections and hold a meeting with the Bescom officials.”

Clarifying the issue, Rajendra Cholan, said, “We have not issued any notices after KERC orders.

In this case, the vigilance team may have issued notices over the previous usage and we will look into the issue.