Gzb allows entry of maids, other service providers into highrisesUpdated: May 23, 2020 23:20 IST
The Ghaziabad district magistrate on Saturday issued an order that dictated that the entry of domestic helps, newspaper hawkers, electricians, plumbers and other people engaged in household works will not be restricted in highrises of the district.
The officials said that such arrangement can be planned directly between the employer and the service provider and local RWAs can act only as advisors, conveners or as observers.
Although issued late, the diktat by the Ghaziabad district magistrate is likely to come as a breather for residents who have been for long demanding the services of people engaged in household works. The residents said that certain RWAs had rolled out their own directions, preventing them from accessing the services of such people.
“Things are opening up everywhere, except in containment zones. Entire city is now under Red zone but we have relaxed norms for certain activities, like opening of markets. The society associations cannot stop vendors or service providers from going to flats if residents require their help, be it technicians or newspaper sellers,” said Shailendra Singh, additional district magistrate, who is also the nodal officer appointed by the district magistrate.
The directions issued by the district magistrate seemed to have clipped the wings of the RWAs and prevented them from becoming absolute minders of their societies .
“The RWAs can take up proper sanitization at the gates and then allow the vendors/service provider to move in. They cannot stop such persons and should support the administration instead of issuing diktats. In the next couple of days, we will also be holding meetings with the RWAs and discuss their suggestions, if any. Everyone has to ensure that hygiene and protocols related to Covid-19 is followed,” he added.
Residents hailed the order and said that proper enforcement and implementation should be taken up by the administration.
“My domestic help was not allowed in the highrise ever since the lockdown was announced. As a result, I have been preparing food and cleaning the house as well as doing the utensils. I have a problem in walking, but there was no option. Sometimes my neighbours helped me out,” said Anita Srivastava, a senior citizen from Gaur Homes in Govindpuram.
Others feel that the district administration should have issued supplementary guidelines and should have detailed precautionary measures for outsiders to be allowed into highrises.
“There are many people, like senior citizens, who are living alone . There should be proper guidelines about safety and precautionary measures in case domestic helps, drivers or any other service providers are allowed to enter. Otherwise, they will be a risk to all the residents,” said BC Rastogi, a senior citizen from Kaushambi.
“It was for two weeks that I was waiting to call a technician to fill up gas in my AC. After the directions were issued I called him up and allowed him to come into the house only after proper sanitization and precautions,” he added.
Other residents also said that banning the entry of service providers, domestic helps have hit them hard financially.
“Many domestic helps could not get their monthly payments and were rendered jobless. So, many families of domestic helps and small time service providers left for their hometowns. Many senior citizens and those living alone in highrises also suffered because of this as they were left to take care of all household works on their own as entry of helps was not allowed,” said Namita Gaur, a resident of Crossings Republik.
The residents’ associations, on their part, welcomed the directions but said that the directions were issued a bit late.
“Many highrises banned the entry of domestic helps and other smalltime service providers. We However, the order by the district administration came at the fag end of lockdown 4.0. It says that it will be an arrangement between the employer and the service provider. There is no clarity on accountability if someone gets infected,” said Colonel (retired) TP Tyagi, president of flat owners’ federation.
“We will also ensure that domestic helps and other service providers who have not got their pending payments get their dues at the earliest,” he added.
Office bearers of the federation of association of apartment owners, however, maintained that RWAs had not banned the entry of domestic helps or other service providers.
“It was just that the lockdown was announced and people were asked to stay where they are. So, the entry became restricted. The RWAs, as per the direction of the DM, will not restrict any domestic help or service providers and will ensure that there is proper sanitization and cleanliness which is maintained,” said Anil Sharma, secretary of the federation.