Unlock 5.0: Bombay Parsi Punchayet still under 'lockdown'
According to him, the BPP has been "inadvertently" employing "dubious" double standards in its operations during the lockdown, instead of coming up with concrete and well-thought decisions
Maharashtra is in the fifth phase of unlocking, with the state government allowing establishments and businesses to resume services in a restricted manner, but the Bombay Parsi Punchayet (BPP) is yet to hold its first physical meeting at its headquarters in South Mumbai since March. Some trustees are allegedly not keen on physical meetings.
The ease of doing business — which includes taking important decision policy and housing issues — is more convenient in the BPP boardroom where trustees can peruse through physical papers files relating to relevant matters, said BPP trustee Kersi Randeria. "The tradition is to conduct weekly board meetings among the trustees at the BPP headquarters," he said, speaking to mid-day. "We didn't hold these weekly meetings during the initial phases of the lockdown. We had some casual conference and Google calls and then later in July we decided to have our meetings over Zoom calls so that there was at least some tone of formality to it, like maintaining minutes. Otherwise earlier we were just rambling on. In April, May, June and July, we (trustees) literally did nothing,"
'Some not willing'
Randeria said he has been urging the other trustees to at least conduct board meetings once a fortnight at the BPP headquarters, but they are not willing to do this. To make matters worse, BPP President Yezdi Desai has been missing from Punchayet's fray since April, when he suffered a stroke. "The biggest problem that BPP has been facing is that of our Baugs' housing issues. There are people whose housing applications are pending, while other residents need repairs to be conducted in their homes. Issues such as allotment of flats and other major important policy decisions can only be looked into when we can access the case files. We cannot do all this over Zoom," Randeria said. He added, "We are unable to address major policy issues because whenever we need to take decisions on such matters, we need to look through files and see the figures and historical data. On Zoom, there is a lot of gab that happens."
'Dubious double standards'
According to him, the BPP has been "inadvertently" employing "dubious" double standards in its operations during the lockdown, instead of coming up with concrete and well-thought decisions. "In some Baugs, daytime household help was being allowed since day one of the lockdown — which was absolute taboo at the time — while others were not even allowed to let workers come in to conduct repairs," he said. When asked about whether the absence of BPP President Yezdi Desai had ceased the BPP's efficiency of functioning he said, "Yes, it has certainly played a role. Me and Yezdi had our own differences—but he was a stabilising influence in the BPP, who knew what he was doing."
Anahita Desai, wife of BPP President Yezdi Desai, said, "He is taking a long time to recover. The main reason for this is that for the first four months after his stroke, he could not do any kind of speech or cognitive therapy since we were advised not to go to hospitals amid the pandemic. He has just started therapy a month and a half ago."
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