Housing societies wracked by graft, mismanagement
Many societies face structural and hygiene maintenance issues, putting lives in danger
Nov 24, 2014
Source : The Times of India


MUMBAI: Around 90% of nearly 70,000 housing societies in the Mumbai metro region have not submitted annual returns, cooperatives officials said. The returns include the annual report of a society's working, audited account statements, profit distribution among members, a copy of amendments in bylaws and compliance to the cooperative registrar's directives.

Officials and experts said that this was due to the lack of responsibility and sincerity among residents, groupism, politics and, at times, corruption. Many societies face structural and hygiene maintenance issues, putting lives in danger, due to this. The attitude, officials and experts said, reflected in society—in civic, state and the country's political and administrative affairs. They urged people to start the clean-up from their own homes, to ensure a corruption-free, accountable and healthy society.

A senior official attached to the joint registrar's office for Mumbai and suburban districts said 8-10% of the 35,000 societies submitted annual reports, audited statements and the profit distribution system to the registrar's office. "It shows lack of awareness and vision," said Vikas Rasal, joint registrar of cooperatives department for Mumbai and suburban districts.

Ramesh Prabhu, president, Maharashtra Societies' Welfare Association, agreed with department officials and attributed the situation to lack of interest and responsibility among office-bearers.

M R More, joint registrar of Konkan division (Thane, Ratnagiri, Raigad and Sindhudurg district), admitted that only 10% societies had submitted audits.

Rasal said committees have to upload meeting details, resolutions, decisions implemented and the name of the auditor. M R More admitted a lack of awareness, and an advertising campaign to sensitize people had not yielded a good response.

Surendra More, vice-chairman, Bombay Suburban District Housing Federation, said people have to be more responsible, as if a society fails to file returns, it faces legal action.

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