Noida: Despite admin’s directives, RWAs issue their own guidelines on entry of maids
Even as the Gautam Budh Nagar administration has directed that domestic helps and other self-employed persons like electricians and plumbers will not be restricted to enter the residential societies, some residents’ welfare associations (RWAs) in the district have started issuing their own set of instructions.
The district administration had on May 16 declared Jalvayu Towers in Sector 47 a containment zone after detection of one Covid-19 case from tower C of the society. But, on May 26, the district magistrate had ordered to lift the ban from the whole society, except the tower from where the positive case was found.
Debesh Banerjee, a resident of the society that has eight towers, said that despite administrative orders, the RWA members are not allowing the entry of domestic helps, washerman, car cleaners or even delivery persons of essential items.
“The RWA members refuse to abide by the guidelines issued by the DM’s office on May 20, which allowed the entry of maids and other service personnel in residential colonies, except for containment zones. Since only the affected tower is under containment, there should be free movement of goods and services in other towers. But, the RWA here is restricting everything. Now, they say that they will issue their own guidelines.”
Echoing similar views, Vimal Dikshit, another resident of Jalvayu Towers, said, “We have tried to expose the RWA members’ authoritarian approach before the administration many times, but all our efforts have proved futile.”
Suraj, a washerman who lives near the society building, said that when he reached the society gate wearing face mask on Friday morning, the guards didn’t permit him to go inside. “I was going there as many residents had asked me to collect their clothes for ironing,” he said.
When contacted, Manish Shukla, general secretary of Jalvayu Towers RWA, said that the society was under containment from May 16, and the containment, as per a new directive by the DM, was removed from full campus to tower C only on May 27.
“After the order from the DM, the RWA has started working on new guidelines for the entry of maids, washermen and drivers into the society. While allowing them, we have to make a comprehensive process for verification of their address and health credentials. We have to prepare ourselves to open the gates to the outside world. We intend to publish our own guidelines by Sunday evening.”
Similarly, at Jalvayu Vihar in sectors 21 and 25, the RWA has issued the guidelines that all residents will have to ensure that Aarogya Setu mobile app is downloaded on the mobile phones of their domestic helps. “Please download the Aarogya Setu mobile app on your mobile device if not done already. Please also ensure that the same is downloaded on the mobile phone of your domestic help. It is also available through IVRS for feature phones. It would be advisable to convert your part time maid to full time maid, so as to minimize the movements,” the guidelines stated.
When contacted, air vice marshal (retired) Pradeep Kumar, chairman of the Jalvayu Vihar RWA, said that his society does not get any grant from any source and is run on ‘no profit no loss’ basis through receipt of subscription.
“If I don’t get the dues from the residents, how will I pay the staff at the gate and in the office to ensure that all precautions are observed. If a resident can claim that services be provided to him by the society, the society also has a right to insist that he clears the outstanding dues, or else the society will stop providing services, including barring the entry of maids,” Kumar said.
When contacted, GB Nagar district magistrate Suhas LY said that the societies do not have the power to act as an enforcing agency. “I have asked the different federations of RWAs and apartment owners’ associations (AOAs) in the district to help the administration regulate the movement of maids, drivers, and other helps. If they act as self-styled law-making bodies, stern actions will be taken against them,” he said.