Housing societies with less than 200 members can conduct elections independently in Maharashtra
The new amendment is expected to free the societies from the tedious procedure of holding elections, under the supervision of officers of the registrar of cooperative societies, says officialUpdated: Dec 03, 2018, 14:36 IST
With one single amendment in the Maharashtra Cooperative Societies Act 1960, the state government has allowed cooperative housing societies (CHS) having less than 200 members, to hold elections independently instead of conducting them under the supervision of the election authority constituted by the cooperative department.
In 2013, the state government had amended the Maharashtra Cooperative Societies Act, 1960 and had introduced a new election procedure for cooperative housing societies. As per the amended provisions of section 73 CB (1), the elections had to be conducted under the supervision of the State Cooperative Election Authority.
The above amendment had imposed several restrictions. The housing societies had to inform the Maharashtra State Cooperative Election Authority three months in advance and conduct the election under the supervision of cooperative society election authority.
Following which a returning officer used to prepare a draft voters’ list. Suggestions and objections were invited and the voters’ list was finalised. To carry out this exercise, housing societies had to spend nearly over ₹20, 000, which can be saved now.
“The new amendment is expected to free the societies from the tedious procedure of holding elections, under the supervision of officers of the registrar of cooperative societies,” said BT Lavan, Pune district deputy registrar for cooperative housing societies department. He also informed that in Pune district out of the total 16, 000 housing societies, 15, 000 societies have members less than 200.
“Maharashtra cooperative housing society’s federation has been for a very long raising this demand, which the state government has accepted. In the state, there are about one lakh housing societies out of which 90 per cent of them have less than 200 flats. All of these societies will benefit from this amendment,” said Lavan.
Terming it a much-awaited amendment, Suhas Patwardhan chairman of the Pune district cooperative housing society’s federation, said, “This is indeed an amendment to be welcomed as it caters to the problems of 90 per cent of the housing societies’ in the state. Except for Mumbai, Pune and Nagpur, most of the cities still have societies with less than 200 members.”
This will save the financial burden on the societies as the chairman and other body members will be decided by them internally in the annual general body meeting, said Patwardhan.
Housing societies built on collector land can now claim ownership
Housing societies on government land can get ownership of land, that can make the redevelopment possible.
As the Maharashtra government has passed a notification to allow conversion of collector land to freehold plots upon payment of a premium, a total of 140 housing societies in Pune will now have the scope of claiming ownership of the land.
The state government in the month of November had passed a notification stating that the societies which are developed on the collector land can get the ownership of the rights of the land upon payment of premium for the redevelopment of buildings which is 25 per cent of the ready reckoner rate in the first three years.
There are multiple societies in Sahakarnagar, Bibvewadi and other parts of the city where the collector had offered land to build houses. Some of these societies came up after 1961 Panshet flood.
Navanath Anpat, Pune district’s deputy registrar for cooperative housing societies department, said, “This change in the rule has been a long pending demand by housing societies across the state. People have been living in such societies for more than a decade, however, without the ownership of land. This change in the rule is an opportunity for such housing societies to now have ownership of the land.”
According to Anpat, this particular rule also created major problems when such housing societies wanted to go for the redevelopment of the project.
“There are a total of 140 societies in Pune in the area of Shivajinagar, Warje, Bibvewadi, Sahakarnagar etc. If these societies want to go for redevelopment, it involved a prolonged process of taking multiple permissions from different government agencies beginning from the district collector’s office. However, now with the ownership of land, the tedious process will be significantly simplified, thus giving a major boost to redevelopment as well,” said Anpat.
Also, if any citizen wishes to buy an apartment in the societies built on the collector land, it was mandatory for the buyer to seek official approval form the collector office to buy the apartment, without which the sale was considered illegal.
However, now if the societies have ownership of land, this rule will not be valid anymore thus establishing an easy process of the sale of the apartment.