The body has around 4,300 registered resident welfare associations as members from across Hyderabad.

A beautiful view of the skyline and apartments in Hyderabad cityImage Credit: Picxy/PrudhviChowdary
news GHMC Elections 2020 Thursday, November 26, 2020 - 13:36

Ahead of the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) elections, politicians are indulging in high-decibel campaigning, road shows and ward visits to woo voters. United-Federation of Resident Welfare Associations (U-FERWAS), the apex body of resident welfare associations in Hyderabad that has around 4,300 members, has collated a wish-list from its members. Representatives of the federation met politicians from the TRS, BJP, Congress and AIMIM and handed over the wish-list.

According to the federation, Hyderabad has more than 8,000 colony resident welfare associations and over 40,000 flat resident welfare associations. The federation believes that the new generation of urban citizens are very busy but at the same time keen to participate in public affairs that concern their way of life. There is a feeling that local politicians and municipal officials do not involve them and, according to the federation this is the reason for the disappointing voter turnout every election.

Organising Committee Members of U-FERWAS 

Speaking to TNM, BT Srinivas, General Secretary of U-FERWAS, said, “This is an opportunity for those contesting and coming to power as well as for residents to have a fruitful agenda that can be implemented for better living. Some of the demands put forward by welfare associations have been implemented by the respective local corporators but many still remain unfulfilled.”

U-FERWAS has not only submitted the list of demands to the representatives from each political party, it is also mailing and using WhatsApp groups to let all the residents of member welfare associations know about what the local corporator had promised and how much of it has been delivered.

“We have mailing groups and separate WhatsApp groups that have residents from various resident welfare associations. We collate information and let them know about all that was promised and how much has been implemented. We never ask them to vote for a certain individual or political party. The residents are free to see the report card and then decide who deserves their valuable vote,” Srinivas added.

U-FERWAS has put together 27 demands in the wish-list submitted to the politicians:

1. It is to be considered whether the financial devolution from the local bodies can be further extended to the RWAs, as per the norms of the Finance Commissions.

2. The Ward Committees and Area Sabhas are a good forum for RWA participation. They are not functioning effectively. At least 50% of the members should be from the RWAs. As SERP is doing in Panchayats, MEPMA or UC department of GHMC should recommend women’s groups or associations also in the Ward Committees and the Area Sabhas.

a. The WC need not be co-terminus with the corporators. In the absence of the corporator, the senior-most member can preside and continue. A new officer is appointed GHMC and s/he should be called Ward Secretary.

b. The RWAs should be ordered to hold Area Sabhas, just like their general assemblies, presided by the corporator, if available.

c. Protection and maintenance of parks, tanks, open places, etc. in their area should be entrusted to them.

d. Local public works carried out should get their endorsement signature after satisfactory completion of works.

3. The co-opted members of the Municipal Council should be from the RWAs also.

4. Many cultural and sports events to be conducted by GHMC should be entrusted to the important civil society organisations and the RWAs in the city.

5. Regarding their legal status, the modalities of registration and follow up of the RWAs need to be further streamlined in consultation with the representatives of the RWAs.

6. In all fieldwork, the GHMC staff should seek cooperation and endorsement of the RWAs of the area.

7. Their cooperation during the preparation of electoral rolls, conducting elections, census, tax collection, epidemics and emergencies should be sought by the officials.

8. RWAs have to play the most important role in disaster-preparedness.

9. During the forthcoming municipal elections, the RWAs would like the corporate candidates to make a commitment that they would sincerely make the WC and AS function effectively.

10. Constitute ‘Conciliation and Dispute Resolution Cell’ in TS RERA with RWA members and others as suggested by RERA Act, as it is being done in other states.

11.    The functioning of the ration shops that are located in the area should be supervised as a Third Party by the RWAs.

12.    Periodic consultations with RWAs should be held at the level of the Deputy Commissioner, Zonal Commissioner and the Commissioner to review the progress made in resolving the problems that arise. It was practised for some time in the past but was later neglected.

13.    Similar consultations should also be held with other bodies that deal with Law & Order, Water, electricity, health, education, planning, HMDA, Transport, etc. where their cooperation is very much needed for their efficient functioning and to avoid wastage.

14. UFERWAS to be recognised as the nodal agency in TS for dealing with RWAs.

15. Allow Registration under Societies act. All future RWAs and apartment associations to be empanelled under UFERWAS.

16. UFERWAS to be given an advisory role and tasked with providing policy inputs on various urban issues including environment (Waste, water, soil and air), municipal services, health services, Infrastructure etc.

17. City/ Town Advisory committees with RWA members, government representatives- from all departments and eminent citizens.

18. UFERWAS cell in all ULBs (about 140) in TS.

19. UFERWAS should be allowed to nominate RWA members to ward committees.

20. RWA complaints / issues to be routed through UFERWAS cell.

21.Monthly review of RWA issues at ULB level, quarterly review at CDMA level, half yearly at minister level, yearly review at Chief Minister level.

22. RWA to be involved in ward development plans covering health, education, environment and municipal services.

23. RWA members to be part of Basthi Dawakhana management committee, Sanitation committee, Environment committee.

24. RWAs to be formally associated with property tax collection, electoral revision and other governance issues.

25. ULBs to observe holiday on a week day (Tuesday) and be open on Sundays. RWA has working professionals and not only retired / senior citizens.

26. Meritorious RWA recognition on Independence Day / Republic day celebration and awards.

27. Aasara, a unique entity formed by GHMC with the senior citizens, is to be made more active.

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