RWAs to be booked if imposing ‘weird’ restrictions on residents: Noida police chief - Hindustan Times
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RWAs to be booked if imposing ‘weird’ restrictions on residents: Noida police chief

Hindustan Times, Noida | BySanjeev K Jha
Apr 04, 2020 03:11 PM IST

These separate rules and regulations, many of them baseless and panic inducing, have been devised by RWAs and apartments owners’ associations (AOAs).

Residents of several housing societies in Gautam Budh Nagar are in a dilemma — whether to follow the lockdown rules of the government or the diktats arbitrarily imposed by various residents’ welfare associations, many of which fly in the face of the orders issued by the government and health officials for the 21-day nationwide lockdown.

Recognising the negative impact of these orders, the Gautam Budh Nagar district administration and the police have finally decided to take stern action against these residents’ bodies.(PTI file photo. Representative image)
Recognising the negative impact of these orders, the Gautam Budh Nagar district administration and the police have finally decided to take stern action against these residents’ bodies.(PTI file photo. Representative image)

Sample this message that several residents got from their RWA. “Request we keep strict quarantine with nothing coming into the house from outside — no milk, no bread, no vegetables- nothing at all - for the next 2 weeks. Please. Namak ajwain ki roti with water, agar provisions khatam ho jaaye, is preferable to inviting the virus home. Please do cooperate. Aur, steam inhalation n saline, warm water gargles 3-4 times a day for all, even if one does not have too big an irritation in the throat. Abhi season change ho raha hai. People may come in for a cold n cough. Do not panic. Could be seasonal cold/flu n nothing more serious. Do contact your doc in case these symptoms come with high fever. May God bless us all.”

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Not to be outdone, other RWAs had even more unscientific diktats, “Newspapers are not allowed in the society, as it may spread coronavirus”, another bulk message to residents read.

Some did not want residents to even eat vegetables or dairy products. “Doctors have confirmed that all the dairy products and green vegetables available in the market carry coronavirus, so these products are not allowed in the society,” a message said.

These separate rules and regulations, many of them baseless and panic inducing, have been devised by RWAs and apartments owners’ associations (AOAs). Recognising the negative impact of these orders, the Gautam Budh Nagar district administration and the police have finally decided to take stern action against these residents’ bodies.

“No individual or group of individuals are allowed to impose such restrictions. Stern action will be taken against them,” district magistrate Suhas LY said.

Commissioner of police Alok Singh also said guidelines for all RWAs and AOAs are being issued. “They can’t impose weird rules on residents. I have asked officials to keep constant watch on all such associations. If they are found guilty of imposing unnecessary restrictions , they will be booked,” he said.

In Sector 77, Rajesh Kumar Singh, a Supreme Court lawyer and a resident of a high-rise there, said the administration has become a mute spectator before the whims and fancies of these associations. “These RWAs and AOAs do not have any legal right to issue such messages. They are supposed to take care of maintenance only. But, since the district administration and police have no time to look into these matters, they are imposing their own sets of rules,” he said.

In Singh’s society, none of the residents is allowed to take four-wheelers out of the society, unless they belong to a company which falls in the category of essential services. Hence, to do grocery shopping, one has to walk to the market and haul the items back home. “ How would senior citizens in my society do this? There is no provision to deliver essential items to their doorstep,” SIngh said.

In Arun Vihar, Sector 29, the RWA issued a strange notice Friday. “They will allow us to go out only for three hours — between 6am and 9am. If all residents start moving about at the same time, how will we ensure social distancing? It will be futile stepping out at that hour as not many shops before 9am. The administration must take punitive action against these RWAs that don’t know the difference between making rules and breaking them,” one of the residents, preferring anonymity, said.

In Sector 21, the RWA has closed the dairy and vegetable booths.

However, the umbrella associations to which these RWas belong do not support these restrictions. PS Jain, president of Confederation of NCR Residents’ Welfare Association (CONRWA), said he has been asking all RWAs to follow restrictions specified by the government. “But, they are proceeding as per their will. These whims will land them in trouble,” he said.

Colonel (retired) Shashi Vaid, the reporting authority of all RWAs in Arun Vihar in sectors 29, 30 and 37, said such restrictions was brought to his notice. “If anyone is doing so to create panic, it is highly condemnable. I’ll look into these matters,” he said.

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