If you want to rent out a flat or live in one on a rental basis in Shivajinagar's Model Colony, then you will have to submit all documents identifying you with the members of the Model Colony Parisar Sudharna Samiti. The committee will give you a go-ahead only if it is convinced about your credentials after checking the papers.
Under watch: Model Colony, where residents want to put a stop to
sex rackets operating from rented flats
Shivajinagar police station, which will assist the residents.
After taking up initiatives like setting up and beautifying four gardens and starting a garbage segregation unit and a biogas project in the area, the members have now decided to come down on all indecent activities in their area. They have taken up a new task: conducting sporadic raids on flats on the slightest suspicion to keep a check on prostitution in Shivajinagar.
Residents claimed they were doing this since there had been a couple of cases in the past where commercial sex workers (CSW) along with their agents were arrested by the Shivajinagar police after receiving a tip-off. "We are taking up this issue with the area police, with whom we are having a public meeting once every month. Our group has been objecting to the advertisement of prostitution in the newspapers, which operates behind the facade of escort services," said Shyamala Desai, secretary of the committee, who along with other members has also written complaint letters to the Shivajinagar police and even Police Commissioner Meeran Borwankar.
If any vacant flat is to be rented out anywhere in Model Colony, the landlord and the occupant will have to get themselves registered with the committee, whose members with the assistance of the police will personally verify and sign the documents before allowing anybody to occupy the flat.
"We have asked the police to make patrolling more intense and frequent. The police say that if the escort service advertisement mentions any area in or around Model Colony, they will not let it operate. We have been informing people to register complaints if they see or hear about any kind of illegal activity in the area," said a committee member. There are about 200 society members across 27 plots in Model Colony, which is near Fergusson College Road in Shivajinagar.
Inspector Seema Mehendale (Crime) confirmed the development, saying after several meetings with the colony members, who are mainly senior citizens, the Shivajinagar police have increased patroll-ing to keep a check on any indecent activity. "We are seeking the members' suggestions and trying to stop not only prostitution but also all other criminal activities, including chain-snatching, which is frequent here," she said.