Sunday, 16 January, 2011

This is no light bill

Antilla is not just a landmark, a month after Mukesh Ambani moved in, it also generated the city’s biggest power bill for a residence: Rs 70 lakh(152,000 USD approx)

The asymmetrical stack of floors is lit-up like a jewellery box, illuminating the indigo sky, its opulence casting everything around it into a paler shade of their selves. Mukesh Ambani’s Godzilla-sized home, Antilla, has just notched up another headline. In the one month since he moved in with wife Nita and their three children, the tycoon has generated a power bill of Rs 70,69,488, the city’s highest residential electricity bill.

According to the bill for the month of September, made available to TOI, Antilla consumed 6,37,240 units of power. To put it in perspective an average Mumbai household equipped with all electronic amenities consumes 300 units per month. Ambani was in fact, as per BEST norm, given a discount of Rs 48,354 for prompt payment. The 70 lakh quoted earlier is minus this amount. Experts say the RIL boss’s tariff is roughly equivalent to the monthly power bill of 7,000 homes in Mumbai. The 27-storey Antilla, named after a mythical island, with its three helipads, 50-seater theatre, nine elevators, swimming pool and residential quarters takes up 37,000 square meters of space which is larger than the Palace of Versailles and according to the Guardian newspaper of the UK, its estimated value is pegged at Rs 4,567 crore.

“Extensive air-conditioning and elevated parking are big energy consumers,” says a BEST official not wishing to be quoted. Further, he adds, the building is lit up through the night, showcasing the bling. Though, a report in the Forbes magazine says that a four-storey hanging garden was especially built as an energy-saving device, to keep the interiors cool in summers.

Perhaps it is taking effect, for in October their power bill marginally came down to Rs 61,28461, for consumption of 5,96,800 power units. The family is among BEST’s high-tension consumer, a category created for bulk users. Save for a small part of the building which is designated as office space where commercial rates are applicable, the lower residential rates apply to the rest of the building. But even here it’s fortunate that Antilla is located where it is. Altamount Road falls under the BEST radar which has the lowest tariff among all power suppliers. Had brother Anil’s Reliance Energy been their power suppliers, Mukesh’s bill, as half of Mumbai can vouch, would have been further inflated.

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