For the past two weeks, the residents have been protesting against the developer for raising an “insurance fee”, clubbing it with this year’s quarterly maintenance bill and deducting the entire amount from pre-paid electricity meters without their consent.
“In accordance with the demand of the residents, give full disclosure of five years of upkeep charges imposed. The builder has no right to charge anything other than what has already been agreed upon in the maintenance contract with the buyers,” Istiaq Ahmed, general manager (planning) of the Noida Authority, said in a recent letter to Jaiprakash Associates Limited (JAL).
The residents claim that depending on the size of their flats, they have been charged anywhere between Rs 500 and Rs 1,500 under the insurance head for the January-March quarter. Insurance, they say, is one of the three components which has been merged with maintenance and deducted in one go from their pre-paid electricity meters. Earlier, Jaypee used to raise bills only under two heads — upkeep and solid waste.
Sanjay David, a resident, has welcomed the move. “For the first quarter of this year, the residents were compelled to pay maintenance charges ranging between Rs 9,000 and Rs 20,000 — a 50% year-on-year increase — depending on the size of their apartments. This amount also includes the Rs 500-Rs 1,500 insurance fee. Moreover, the charges being levied by the builder does not match the quality of services being provided to us,” he said.
When contacted, an advisor to the Jaypee Group, Ajit Kumar, said, “We got the letter on Tuesday and we are going to send a detailed response to the Authority. The upkeep charge of Wish Town has been much lower as compared to other premiere projects in Noida. We have increased the charges overall by 10% and all this protest is regarding that issue.”
Some 10,000 families live in Wish Town currently.