Of the 18,000 cooperative housing societies in the district, 4,000 are due for elections.
Gradual easing of pandemic-related restrictions has raised the hopes among cooperative housing societies that they would be allowed to hold their long-overdue elections soon. Suhas Patwardhan, president of Pune District Cooperative Housing Federation, said they expect new government regulations to be issued in this regard on September 1.
Of the 18,000 cooperative housing societies in the district, 4,000 are due for elections. The state government had waived off the condition of election for housing societies with less than 250 members and thus, majority of the housing societies in the district do not have to hold elections. Most of the societies, which are due for elections, were supposed to hold them in 2020 but Covid-19 pandemic had put that process on hold.
During the first wave, while elections to gram panchayat were allowed, those to elect cooperative bodies were not. The state government had postponed the elections multiple times despite demand from various housing societies and other cooperative bodies. Covid-19 restrictions, Patwardhan and others had pointed out, were easier to follow during elections of cooperative housing societies than anywhere else.
Not holding elections had led to problems in sanctioning of budget or starting of new projects in the housing societies, they said, adding that the extension given to the existing executive bodies in places where there were disputes had resulted in more “bad blood” among the members.
While the elections have been delayed, Patwardhan said they have ensured training of member societies. The process of elections requires the nomination of a returning officer, preparation of the electoral rolls, inviting suggestions and objections and then publishing the same. The returning officer oversees the process, which has to be completed within 60 days of declaration of the elections.
On Friday, during a weekly meeting in the city, deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar had indicated that the state government would allow holding of elections. “We are hopeful that the government’s notification would be issued on September 1. As it is the government has removed almost all restrictions and thus we are optimistic that the elections would be allowed post September 1,” he said.
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