Com­mit­tee ofnew

With ad­di­tion of new ameni­ties in com­plexes and so­cial me­dia, man­ag­ing so­ci­eties is chang­ing. The mem­bers are now adopt­ing mo­bile apps, en­cour­ag­ing di­ver­sity and ac­com­mo­dat­ing mod­ern re­la­tion­ships

Hindustan Times (Chandigarh) - Estates - - ESTATES - Di­pan­jan Sinha di­pan­jan.sinha@hin­dus­tan­

There’s a lot more to run­ning a hous­ing so­ci­ety to­day— se­cu­rity, the Goods and Ser­vices Tax( G ST ), CCTV net­works and so­cial me­dia. Ad­di­tion­ally, the av­er­age so­ci­ety is also big­ger and plusher, which means more res­i­dents, staff, ameni­ties and main­te­nance.

While Ever­sweet So­ci­ety in Versova is try­ing to fig­ure out ways to im­ple­ment mod­ern sys­tems for waste seg­re­ga­tion, Us ha Kiron so­ci­ety in Co­laba is strug­gling to find park­ing space for its res­i­dents, most of whom have mul­ti­ple ve­hi­cles. And Sun flower Co-oper­a­tive in Kan­di­vli is find­ing it hard to han­dle its What­sApp group.

“I miss the days when our com­plex of 120 flats was like a fam­ily. Now it is more dis­jointed and in­su­lar. Fam­i­lies meet only when there is a for­mal meet­ing or a big fes­ti­val ,” says Rajesh Arondekar, who has been the sec­re­tary of Sun­flower Co-oper­a­tive for over 10 years.

The best way to work in a sit­u­a­tion like this, he says, is togo by the book.

“Be it elec­tions or is­sues with park­ing, we make sure that ev­ery rule is fol­lowed to the T, and that things run smoothly,” he adds.

The book, how­ever, is be­com­ing too heavy, feels Ra­jeev Matta, who has been the sec­re­tary of Ever­sweet for a decade.

“We had a hous­ing so­ci­ety elec­tion last year in the pres­ence of an of­fi­cial from the reg­is­trar’s of­fice. While this is a good process, it is also a lit­tle cum­ber­some. There is now also a pro­posal to change it,” he says.

“As some­one head­ing a hous­ing so­ci­ety, I think we should be up­dated with fresh ideas and know the as­pi­ra­tions of mem­bers. More peo­ple need to be in­volved.” Whether or not to em­brace so­cial me­dia is an­other dilemma.

Matta’s man­age­ment com­mit­tee has a Whats A pp group where they up­date each other about meet­ings and things to be done but they are yet to set up a Face­book page. “We avoid that and pre­fer hu­man in­ter­ac­tion if any­one has a query,” he says. Arondekar points out that they avoid so­cial me­dia be­cause it can be­come a free-for-all and lead to

Ameni­ties such as a health club, CCTV net­works and in­ter­com come with an ad­di­tional cost and need ex­tra staff. Many mem­bers of older hous­ing so­ci­eties think they are a fi­nan­cial bur­den.

RAJESH ARONDEKAR, sec­re­tary of Sun­flower co-oper­a­tive in Kan­di­vli


“We don’t want al­le­ga­tions of abuse and defama­tion. What is the point? We may con­sider prac­ti­cal a pp sift here is a need ,” he adds.


One con­tin­u­ing bone of con­tention is what kinds of ten­ants will be ‘en­cour­aged’.

Matta says his so­ci­ety has adapted to change. “We have no prob­lem what­so­ever with sin­gle men, sin­gle women or un­mar­ried cou­ples liv­ing on rent in the com­plex. Our com­plex is a cos­mopoli­tan one and in case of op­po­si­tion on mat­ters like these we as a col­lec­tive put our foot down,” he says. At Usha Kiron in Co­laba, live-in cou­ples on rent are not en­cour­aged. “Mem­bers are still not com­fort­able about it,” says sec­re­tary Tanya De­sousa. “All com­mu­ni­ties are wel­come. Peo­ple from all re­li­gions live here like a fam­ily,” she adds.


They have, how­ever, adopted the so­cial net­work with much en­thu­si­asm.

“We have a whats a pp group for the whole com­plex which helps us stay con­nected,” says De­sousa.

“We post up­dates, news and in­for­ma­tion about the so­ci­ety on the group. This helps us re­main in touch with mem­bers who are away for long du­ra­tions,” adds Kiron.

Arondekar from Kan­di­vli agrees that so­cial me­dia is help­ful but he thinks that it of­ten causes more harm than good.

“We have had a bad ex­pe­ri­ence two years ago with so­cial me­dia when a mem­ber started send­ing out false in­for­ma­tion about the com­mit­tee be­cause we pre­vented him from do­ing some il­le­gal con­struc­tion. There is a lot to man­age to al­low such con­fu­sion ,” he says.

A lot of build­ings now come with ameni­ties like gym, swim­ming pool and CCTV net­works. Though De­sousa’s apart­ment does not have the space for big­ger ameni­ties, she has been con­tem­plat­ing to set up an in­ter­com and so­lar pan­els. But these too can be a trou­ble at times.

Arondekar says that they pay an ad­di­tional amount for the main­te­nance health club and in­ter­com in their so­ci­ety which also needs ad­di­tional staff. But some mem­bers find the cost a bur­den.

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