Mumbai: BMC allows housing societies to hold vaccination drives within their premises – ET RealEstate

MUMBAI: Soon, Covid-19 vaccination drives will come to your doorstep. The BMC is permitting housing societies to tie up with private hospitals to hold these drives within their premises, subject to availability of stocks. Hospitals will have to ensure all protocols are followed during the drive.

These vaccines will come at a cost fixed by the government for private hospitals. While some housing societies are already in talks with the BMC, a few others are trying to set up their infrastructure.

Additional municipal commissioner (health), Suresh Kakani told TOI housing societies, industrial complexes, banks and corporates can tie up with any private hospital for doorstep vaccination.

“We have notified 75 private hospitals for vaccination and we can add more as and when they apply. Hospitals will have to take care of the holding area, vaccination and observation area post vaccination and follow all protocols,” Kakani said. “Those who want free vaccination can come to the 227 new centres that the BMC will be setting up. These centres will provide free vaccination and they will be operational once we get enough stock,” he added.

In a mail to residents from across their projects, the Lodha Group stated they are working with the authorities to organise vaccination. A spokesperson said they were getting permissions from the municipal corporations. “We have tied up with local hospitals to procure vaccines,” said the spokesperson.

Mulund’s Atmosphere Housing Society has also reached out to the BMC and BJP MP Manoj Kotak seeking vaccination in their complex. “We have over 700 flats and over 1,500 residents in the society. We can help the BMC set up the vaccination centre in our society and provide manpower for the drive too. This way people won’t have to go out and everyone can get vaccinated,” said Raj Kulkarni, a resident.

Kotak said they had asked the BMC to allow NGOs to carry out vaccination drives in housing societies through tie-ups with hospitals. “This will expedite the pace of vaccination and reduce crowds at vaccination centres,” he said.

On behalf of the 11 societies in Dosti Acres, Wadala, NGO Friends of Wadala East, has requested the developers to make the community hall available for the vaccination drive. “We are also in talks with the BMC. The BMC’s vaccination centres will be overburdened and carrying out these drives at micro level is the only way forward,” said Rahul Daga, chairman of Dosti Lily CHS and secretary of the NGO. They are ready to bear the cost of setting up the infrastructure.

Rajeev Saxena from the Maharashtra Societies Welfare Association said many societies are keen on holding the vaccination drives and are awaiting government orders.



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Group housing societies in NCR set up isolation facilities with oxygen beds – ET RealEstate

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NEW DELHI: Spike in coronavirus cases has forced many group housing societies across Delhi NCR to take the driver’s seat and handle the crisis. Many self-motivated residents have become social workers and formed groups for catering to multiple daily needs related to medical supply, food, vaccination registration and other emergency helpline numbers.

Residents have not only made social media pages but also created 24/7 helpline Whatsapp and Telegram groups to provide critical information to all those in need. Sometimes they also Tweet or re-Tweet on important issues to local authorities for quick resolution.

In fact, many Non-Residents Indians (NRIs) living abroad are worried about their elderly parents and relatives and constantly calling these residents associations and local social help groups to assist their family members and friends in India.

Deepti Sharma, a social worker based out of Delhi NCR, has started WhatsApp and Telegram groups after getting panic calls from a lot of NRIs friends who asked her to help their parents and friends get hospital beds and essential medical supplies.

“I was shocked to see so many people in panic not just in India but abroad as well for hospital beds. Many housing societies where elderly are living alone or without any help have no support system in this situation. People from US, UK, New Zealand and other countries are calling us for help. So, I decided to assist people and I kept calling hospitals, vendors and doctors for beds and medical supplies availability. Many group housing societies and associations have been calling for beds, so I decided to bring them all on one platform and help each others. Some NRIs calling from abroad and assisting their families and friends with local volunteers and social workers,” explains Sharma who is now managing a COVID-19 helpline groups with nearly 2,000 people from across Delhi NCR.

Out of panic, some group housing societies have even setup beds with oxygen cylinders to help those in need. However, there is no clear-cut government guidelines on such setup as this is not safe in absence of trained medical staff or doctors.

Sharma explained, “I will not suggest anyone to set up oxygen beds in societies who does not know about handling oxygen cylinders. It has to be done under the supervision of medical staff, nurse or doctor. One must know the right flow of oxygen depending on the patient’s condition. So if you need beds do reach out to social workers and residents groups to assist you. Many doctors and hospitals are in touch and updating us.”

Considering the importance of these volunteer groups, many doctors have also started reaching out to these people to help out in searching of availability of beds for critical patients across all hospitals in Delhi NCR.

Dr. TK Kaushik, president AOA, Gaur City-1, North Avenue, says, “We are in constant touch with the local authority and police. Due to our experience last year, we had procured some oxygen cylinders with beds which are kept on standby to handle any emergency in the society. We are also in touch with local hospitals and doctors who are helping us in case of necessity. Our residents are also helping people in nearby societies.”

What does the law say?

Suvigya Awasthy, associate partner, PSL Advocates & Solicitors explains, “In view of a steady rise in Covid-19 cases, several residential complexes and housing societies are setting up their own isolation facilities with beds and oxygen cylinders. Last year, the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare had released guidelines for setting up isolation facilities in gated community and non-government establishments. The guidelines permit the establish their own community-based isolation facilities, equipped with oxygen cylinders beds provided they follow the standard operating process (SOPs) to ensure optimum functioning of such isolation facilities.”

In this emergency times, society groups are coming very handy to support and disseminate information for people in need. Senior citizens and those who are critically ill are getting support through these volunteer groups at a time when health infrastructure is in distress.



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Housing societies in Noida asked to appoint corona vigilance officer, report violations – ET RealEstate

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Housing societies in Noida have been asked to appoint a corona vigilance officer for each building/tower in a latest guideline issued by the district administration.

In a fresh SOP on containment zones to stop the spread of COVID-19, the Noida administration has said that at all residential areas including societies and RWA share spaces like Gym, swimming pools, banquet hall, parks, community centres, corridors, elevators and stairs, parking places, cafeteria, meeting rooms and conference halls, COVID-19 infection can spread relatively fast among residents and visitors.

“Residents in containment zones should inform the same to their as well as RWA presidents / and not go their homes till the containment zone is de-notified. Swimming pool, indoor gym, and areas in containment zones shall remain closed except for medical and essential service,” the guideline said.

It has also asked the number of people in elevators shall be restricted, duly maintaining physical distancing norms for which proper markings should be made on the floor of the elevators.

The vigilance officers have been asked to report the positive cases with lab reports and any violation made by covid- 19 people to the president or secretary of societies.



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Housing societies can decide on use of sinking fund – ET RealEstate

MUMBAI: Housing society members need not approach cooperatives department for permission to use the sinking fund for other purposes, like repairs and painting.

Cooperatives sector experts said as per a model bylaw of 2014, even if the general body decides on using it by defining its purpose, there is no need for the society to seek the deputy registrar or coop department’s nod. Such permission was mandatory prior to 2014.

The advice came in the backdrop of the arrest of a senior official of cooperative registrar’s office, Bharat Kakad (57) and his son Sachin (32) by Anti-Corruption Bureau while accepting a bribe of Rs 2 lakh and two saris worth Rs7,600 on Monday. The complainant was chairman of Rolex Apts Society, Malad, that had sought permission to use the sinking fund.

“Sinking fund can be utilized by the society for non-routine capital expenditure without permission of the registrar, subject to approval of the general body via a notice, agenda, resolution, under provision,” said Jeby Patel of All-India Cooperative Housing Societies Association (AICHSWA).

Ramesh Prabhu, president of Maharashtra Societies Welfare Association (MahaSeWA), said there was no need to replenish the accumulated sinking fund even as collection of future sinking funds will continue. But the utilisation must be reflected in the balance-sheet and sinking fund registrar, Patel added. “Had society members knew about the law, the incident could have been avoided,” said Prabhu.

Reports said the Malad society was in need of funds to carry out repairs as it allegedly fell short on collecting maintenance. The society chairman and secretary approached Kakad to approve use of the sinking fund, an amount kept in reserve in the society’s fund for contingencies. Kakad, who also operated from a private office close to his department, reportedly threatened them that he would get them to resign citing “failure” in collecting maintenance from members, and thus allegedly forced them to bribe him against permission, which was not in his jurisdiction.



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