Cooperative housing societies can now elect managing committees by June 30 instead of the earlier deadline of December 31. The state legislature recently cleared the deadline extension.
The state had told societies to complete elections by December 31. Experts said the cut-off date was “unrealistic“ since many societies had not held elections over several years. “The extension will help us comply with due procedure with an extended period for hearing of objections over nominations,“ said a society functionary.
After the deadline was initially set at December 31, many societies had been asking members to attend urgent meetings to decide on the election agenda. Some had issued an ultimatum to members and told them to pay pending dues within a short span of time to become eligible voters. Moreover, several rounds of meetings had to be held by societies to make members aware of the new regulations before going in for elections.“Several members live abroad or out of the city and have rented their flats. We need to do the groundwork to ensure free and fair polls,“ said a member from a housing society in Chembur.
“Our society recently issued a notice asking us to pay maintenance and repair dues within four days. How can we shell out the amount in such a short span of time? They should give us at least a fortnight,“ said a resident of Shivaji Park, Dadar.
Experts said they were getting many calls from anxious residents to convene meetings to spread awareness on new rules and help housing societies comply with the new regulatory administration.
“We had started conducting meetings to create awareness among members, auditors and employees and labourers working in housing societies in order to ensure maximum participation of societies and their members in the elections,“ said Surendra More, vice-chairman of Bombay Suburban District Housing Federation.Ramesh Prabhu, president of the Maharashtra Societies Welfare Association, said his organization was guiding people on how to file all the details online and upload audit statements. Elections of all housing societies are being conducted through secret ballot, provided there is no unanimity over managing committee candidates.
December 29 2014 : The Times of India (Mumbai)
by Chittaranjan Tembhekar, Mumbai