One help per household: RWAs come up with strategies as lockdown eases
The district administration has suggested that the entry of plumbers, electricians and service personnel for ACs, ROs, refrigerators, etc. be limited to twice a week.Updated: May 08, 2020 10:36 IST
With the Gaiutam Budh Nagar district administration putting the onus of formulating local guidelines on residential bodies, these associations Thursday came up with a set of guidelines to regulate the movement of people at housing societies.
While the Gautam Budh Nagar administration had on Wednesday issued guidelines on interstate and interdistrict travel, opening of industries and private offices, and perimeter control of containment zones, it left it to the residents’ welfare associations to come up with guidelines to regulate the movement of helps, plumbers, electricians and others at housing societies.
The district administration has suggested that the entry of plumbers, electricians and service personnel for ACs, ROs, refrigerators, etc. be limited to twice a week. The officials also said the RWA can decide in consultation with residents the entry of domestic helps, but stipulated that helps come only be from a non-containment zone and only one help per household will be allowed.
Following the directives, RWAs started making plans for their individual localities after taking feedback from residents.
“We have issued certain guidelines for now. It is difficult to keep one help restricted to a single household as they often work in multiple households. So we will try to prepare some sort of a roster for these helps and may have to get in touch with more helps to accommodate all families. However, it will be very difficult to track their movements once they leave the society. But we will monitor the situation till May 17 and then take a call depending on how thigs things pan out,” Rekha Chawla, secretary, apartment owners’ association (AOA), ATS village, Sector 93, said.
Other localities are urging residents who require services of domestic helps to keep them on a 24-hour basis.
“There are families who do require support of domestic helps. Almost 10% families in our housing society are elderly couples. Then there are those with young children or working people who have to worry about kids who aren’t going to school. Such people need help. We are asking them to make arrangements for the help to stay with them full time and to get them tested for Covid-19 first. For the staff, thermal screening will be done at the main gate,” Rajiva Singh, president, apartment owners’ association, Stellar Kings Court, Sector 50, said.
He also said that for any maintenance service, the AOA have fixed two days of the week and the body will review the situation once more after May 17.
Residents also said even though helps from only non-containment zones will be coming in, it is difficult to ensure that the guidelines are followed. Also, in high-rises with as many as 1,000 to 1500 flats, and many sectors the ‘one help per household’ rule is not feasible due to a large volume of residents.
“We cannot fulfil this administrative requirement and that is why for now we are avoiding the entry of helps unless absolutely necessary. In that scenario, the family will have to engage her from 7am-7pm and get her checked for Covid-19. Meanwhile, we have permitted car cleaners, laundry personnel and gardeners to come in. The RWA has engaged its own plumber and electrician who are servicing the houses for now. We are ensuring that all service personnel are from non-containment zones,” colonel (retd) Shashi Vaid, chairman, Arun Vihar RWA, said.
But RWAs are worries about conflicts with residents.
“In case we make a rule, we don’t want people to say that we are being autocratic. So we have asked residents for their feedback. So far most residents have refused to engage a help until the situation improves,” the estate manager of a society in Sector 75 said.
“If any conflict leads to a disturbance of peace or gets out of hand, police will intervene. However, any policy disagreements can be settled between the RWAs and residents amicably,” Sriparna Gangoulee, additional commissioner of police, said.