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Monday Musings: Fringe localities: Emulate PCMC housing societies federation

Study the problems of your locality, discuss solutions and make elected representatives accountable. HT will stand by you.

pune Updated: Jun 17, 2018 23:31 IST
Abhay Vaidya
Abhay Vaidya
Hindustan Times, Pune
pune,maharashtra,monday musings
Punekars living in the housing societies with fancy names in the fringe suburbs also suffer because neither the roads nor the electricity sub-stations are in place.(HT File Photo)

The Roseland Residency Co-op Housing Society at Pimple Saudagar with 30 buildings and an estimated 3,500 residents has demonstrated how a colony of smart, well-educated people can take up numerous eco-friendly initiatives which not only result in huge savings but are also harmonious with the goals of the civic body. It is not for nothing that this colony is a recipient of a national Swacch Bharat award.

The Kalyani Nagar Residents Association (KNRA) which is a much older body is also a collective of like-minded residents who have helped transform their locality through positive initiatives.

These initiatives can happen only when the basic civic infrastructure in terms of satisfactory water supply, power supply and good roads is in place. As highlighted by this newspaper over the past weeks and months, Pune’s rapid expansion, especially over the last decade and a half, has resulted in the emergence of numerous fringe suburbs like Wakad, Hinjewadi, Mohammadwadi and Undri, where the civic infrastructure is in a mess.

The two municipal corporations of Pune have deliberately and indiscriminately sanctioned building permits, allowing newer housing colonies and commercial establishments to come up. They have justified their action by stating that “they cannot stop development” and that the civic infrastructure will take shape along with way.

This gave birth to Pune’s water mafia where residents in the fringe areas not only have to dutifully pay their civic taxes, but additionally bear the cost of sustaining Pune’s water mafia year after year. In recent weeks, this newspaper exposed the estimated Rs 100 crore operation run systematically by the water mafia involving politicians, builders, unscrupulous civic officials and water tanker operators.

Punekars living in the housing societies with fancy names in the fringe suburbs also suffer because neither the roads nor the electricity sub-stations are in place. Thus, they suffer from accidents, chronic back aches, filthy, stinking heaps of garbage and extended power cuts. All because of inefficient politicians and the civic bureaucracy.

The only way to deal with this is to form associations and federations of housing societies as has been done by the Pimpri-Chinchwad Co-operative Housing Societies Federation. Study the problems of your locality, discuss the possible solutions and engage the local corporators, MLAs, municipal commissioner and his deputies. Make them accountable. This exercise with strong follow-up needs to be done every quarter.

Housing societies are populated by the skilled and highly-qualified middle class with people from every profession. We, at Hindustan Times, are in close touch with many housing societies and will always stand by you in this endeavour. Do get in touch for any support that you may need!

abhay.vaidya@htlive.com

First Published: Jun 17, 2018 23:30 IST