‘Griha Jyoti’ poses problems for shifting tenants

‘Griha Jyoti’ poses problems for shifting tenants

Bengaluru: The state’s ambitious ‘Griha Jyoti’ scheme, which aims to provide free electricity to households, has inadvertently created significant...

Bengaluru: The state’s ambitious ‘Griha Jyoti’ scheme, which aims to provide free electricity to households, has inadvertently created significant challenges for tenants moving homes. The primary issue arises when tenants are unable to de-link their Aadhaar numbers from their previous residences, causing complications for both the tenants and the government’s calculations.

When tenants move, their Aadhaar number remains linked to the electricity account (RR number) of their previous rental property. This leads to a scenario where multiple beneficiaries within the same family continue to receive zero electricity bills, skewing the government’s calculations and creating administrative headaches.

New tenants are required to adhere to the average electricity usage limit set by the previous occupant. If this limit is exceeded, the new tenant incurs additional charges. For instance, if a tenant’s average consumption in their old house was 150 units and they move to a new house where the previous tenant’s average was 100 units, they must limit their usage to 100 units to avoid extra costs. This situation becomes particularly challenging during the summer when many families relocate due to school transfers and other reasons.

The de-linking issue has resulted in a decrease in the number of beneficiaries receiving zero bills. In December last year, 1.65 crore people registered for the Griha Jyoti Yojana on the Sewasindhu portal, with 95.50 lakh people receiving zero bills. By the end of May 2024, while the number of registered users remained the same, the number of zero bills dropped to 85 lakh, according to the energy department.

Tenants moving to a new house face the additional burden of having to use another family member’s Aadhaar card if the previous tenant’s Aadhaar is still linked to the RR number. Although the government has instructed respective Eskoms to allow de-linking, there has been little action. Complaints have surfaced that Eskoms are not facilitating the re-linking of Aadhaar numbers for those who have already registered.

The government’s intention behind the Griha Jyoti scheme was to alleviate the financial burden on households by providing free electricity. However, the implementation has led to unforeseen complications for tenants, highlighting the need for a more flexible and responsive system to manage Aadhaar linking and de-linking.

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