Mumbai: Housing Societies ready to join hands with Govt bodies to make more liveable city
India's first and only platform for Housing Society members and certified vendors/service providers held in Mumbai it was voiced by all concerned people that the housing societies can play a very significant role in making Mumbai city more liveable
New Delhi: In a recently concluded 3 day Expo - Housing Society and Management Show (HSMS-2018) - India's first and only platform for Housing Society members and certified vendors/service providers held in Mumbai it was voiced by all concerned people that the housing societies can play a very significant role in making Mumbai city more liveable if housing societies act responsibly and join hand with Government and local bodies to address certain key initiatives like Traffic chaos on roads, Parking issues, Encroachment of pavements & roads and many others.
With 33 Lakh vehicles plying 2000 kilometres of narrow motorable roads in Mumbai, chaos will continue to chase us each day and even on weekends. Scarce public spaces are encroached upon by a majority of the 14 Lakh - 3 & 4 Wheelers and 19 Lakh Two Wheelers. Top this up with a BMC estimated 85,000 clunkers illegally dumped on prime roads that further curtails pedestrian and vehicular traffic.
A consultative panel of the Housing Society and Management Show (HSMS-2018) has appealed to Ajoy Mehta - Municipal Commissioner, BMC to actively involve Societies to reduce the overall number of vehicles in Mumbai. This is a must to address the cluttering of roads and deteriorating air quality on account of vehicular pollution. Societies must be granted deduction in property taxes equivalent to the cost of buying and operating environment-friendly electric 2, 3 & 4 wheelers In a pool on a subscription basis for its members.
With an average of 1650 vehicles per kilometer of road length creative thinking and solutions for mobility of citizens is required. Having society owned, maintained and operated a pool of bicycles and two-wheelers for easy mobility of members is one such idea sure to succeed. Encouraging members to peddle for close distances to save on pollution and gain on health, societies must provide a pool of cycles of various sizes suitable for all ages and sex.
While elaborating an issue Indrani Malkani, Chairperson of V Citizens Action Network (VCAN) said, "Chauffeured or self-driven cars owned and operated by a common charter of society members would reduce the inducement to buy expensive parking space and store a seldom driven car in it. Peer & community pressure of vehicle ownership is much less in Mumbai as compared to cities in northern India. Purchases of cars and other vehicles must be deglamorized if not penalized, and must be promoted as a vice as it creates wasteful consumption and duplicity of asset creation and cluttering of driving and parking spaces."
"Pooling of resources for co-operative ownership must be also valued for the comfort and ease they bring at affordable costs. Installing of high-end Washing Machines and Dryers in Common areas is heartily availed by members. Use of Auto Rickshaw, electric charged Golf Carts for drop and pick up from mass transit nodes must vigorously be promoted. All this would negate each member making capital investments to own vehicles for personal use and at nominal costs avail of these facilities right from home," Malkani added further. Housing and commercial premises societies are constantly evolving and the smartest of them are revered for their Managing Committee & Office Bearers who make living and working in these Smart Societies a joy.
The Housing Society Management Show (HSMS) is one such platform that aims to facilitate ideas, knowledge and execution support to make all Societies smarter and enjoyable. Mukund Rao and Dilip Raghavan, Director, Intellize Expo Pvt. Ltd.(Organiser of HSMS 2018) claimed, "Office bearers of Residential or Commercial societies who visited HSMS 2018 - the only sourcing platform for professional and tested services and products commonly used by Societies, held on 14th, 15th & 16th December 2018 at Nehru Centre," Worli had the opportunity to witness, meet and interact with a host of certified and professional vendors and services providers the housing societies normally look for their everyday needs."
CA. Ramesh Prabhu - Chairman of `Maharashtra Societies Welfare Association clarified, "Fundamental to living in a Smart society is clarity in communication and common understanding of members. The most serious confusion prevailing is about Membership, Full Member/Associate Member/Nominated Member the status and rights of each. Redressal of members grievances must be done as prescribed by law, failing which it leads to heartburn and culminating in the collapse of Co-operative spirit of society."
Responsible consumption of resources is fundamental to their very existence. A widely tested successful methodology of curtailing power consumption is amply visible throughout the premises of these Smart Societies. Early adopters are supplementing their power with self-generated Solar Energy. Societies also avail various subsidies to carry out the Solar installation at affordable costs and early breakeven.
Water conservation and recharging the boring wells on the premises has been around for quite some time and mandated by several laws. The Smart Societies are now installing well studied Rain Water Harvesting Systems with multiple pipelines suitable for rampant recycling and reuse of wastewater. All this aimed at achieving a net reduction in average consumption of fresh billed water.
Smart Societies also find smart ways to generate funds and not burden their members. A member paying extra charges to Societies for availing more than their average share in services is not uncommon. The Smart agenda of these societies ensures there is never a paucity of funds as members are always making timely contributions and also will sign cheques for one time big ticket items.
Smart Societies like any other society may be space-starved but smart utilization of space and community resources is there for everyone to see. Environment protection, Resident's health and justified use of monetary and other resources are the 3 scrutinies that all services must pass before being adopted.
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