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Fresh rent-seeking avenue for BESCOM staff

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Most apartment complexes have so far been tapping from their common area power connections for the in-house utility service centres (kirana shop, ironing shop, etc), which are generally outsourced to local vendors. That way, they have been enjoying the benefit if domestic tariffs for the power needs of these services. Of recent, however, BESCOM appears to have decided that these are to be treated as "commercial" loads, and billed accordingly. The question arises here as to why it should be so when these are serving the exclusive needs of the complex residents alone.

Even if you choose to concede the point being made, there is an elaborate and costly procedure to be followed, through a licensed electrical contractor, for what you would think is a simple re-wiring job.

My friend, who took over as the President of the 150-unit apartment complex where I reside (in South Bangalore), inducted me into his MC (Managing Committee) to go into the finances, with my being a qualified Chartered Accountant. Recently, he forwarded me the following details of a quote from an electrical contractor for undertaking the job:

Subject: quote for additional meter with addl load for shops

Pl find below the quote for electrification work in your apartment

1. Supply and laying of 10x4core alu Xlpe cable from laundry shop to meter panel with clamping at regular intervals on existing cazble trays - @ Rs 250/- per M, for 35M - Rs  8,750-00

2. Same above but for provision/ kirana shop - @ Rs 250/- per M for 20M Rs 5,000/-

3. S/fixing of 32A 4P MCB with box for shops  - @ Rs 2500/- each for 2 nos - Rs  5,000/-

4. S/fixing of 16A 4P ELCB with box for shops  - @ Rs 5500/- each for 2 nos - Rs 11,000/-

5. Service/Laisoning charges towards arranging inspection preparing feasibility report, estimation and getting power sanction, and finally servicing the installation with two meters - Rs 45,000/- lumpsum.

Total - Rs 74,750/-
                                                                          
Note:  1) All statutory deposits from your end as per actuals; 2) Vat @ 14.5% on item No.1-4, service tax 212.36% on item no.5 will be extra; 3) Meter cost Rs.3000/-x 2 nos=6000/-; 4) 50% mobilisation advance against order
   
Expecting the orders at the earliest

Thanking you, Yours faithfully, etc


What is noticeable is that the quote for the job proper is just Rs 27K, whereas for the 'service' charges are almost double that. What does that tell you?

I had been on an assignment abroad for over two years. I had been reading about the good work being done by Mr Manivannan, the earlier MD of BESCOM, on the social media, including PRAJA. Perhaps, if he was still there, these kinds of activities would have been curbed. I wonder what we are headed for now. Look out for posts on further developments.

Chandru



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