Ram’s warning comes in the wake of reports that several housing societies were making their own rules, such as not allowing domestic help to enter the premises despite the requirements of several senior citizens or blocking supply of essential services such as milk and gas cylinders. Many societies across the PCMC limits have resorted to polling within societies to justify their methods and practices.
Ram said notices would be issued to the offending societies under Section 188 of the Disaster Management Act and FIRs could be registered against the society members not adhering to the state government’s directions. He said people living in housing societies could reach out to the offices of the collector, municipal commissioners and local authorities with their complaints.
“Housing societies cannot have rules that contradict the state government’s rules relaxing the lockdown. We are receiving complaints and my orders will ensure that nobody staying in housing societies faces any unnecessary hassle. Housing societies should take a more proactive role in alerting the administration in case of people coming from outside. They should work with the administration, rather than create issues for the member residents,” Ram said.Rules made by many housing societies preventing and regulating ancillary staffers’ entry and not allowing domestic help have left many senior citizens in a spot. Vernon Fernandes (67) said his 90-year-old mother-in-law faced a lot of difficulties in the absence of her domestic help.
He added that despite showing the municipal commissioner’s order allowing house helps from the non-containment zones, the chairman of his housing society did not budge from his stand. “It gets very difficult in such situations. Random rules only create chaos,” Fernandes told TOI.
Social worker Rohan Gaikwad said many societies had prevented domestic helps doubting he medical certificates they carried with them. Pune civic chief Shekar Gaikwad told TOI that the rules clearly allowed movement of domestic helps from non-containment zones and there was no scope of any confusion.
Pimpri Chinchwad municipal commissioner Shravan Hardikar iterated that there were no special rules disallowing the domestic helps from entering the housing societies. He said people could allow them to work amid proper health precautions.
A senior officer in the district registrar’s office told TOI that if the collector has issued instructions, they would ensure notices were issued to the housing societies if there were valid complaints against them.