Noida: Residents of Jal Vayu Vihar have won the long-standing fight to attain voting rights in society. As per the order of the Housing Commissioner dated June 2, 2022, all owners including "nominal members" of the society will be allowed to vote in society elections. Thus, ending the two-decades-long fight to attain voting rights.
Jal Vayu Vihar is one of the oldest residential colonies in sectors 21 and 25, where around 3700 residents live. As gathered, for over two decades, around 2000 residents who did not belong to the Airforce and naval community were considered "nominal residents" and were not allowed to vote in the society elections. The society's bylaws maintained that only the airforce community and naval community can vote.
Since 2016, a section of residents has been seeking legal remedies to ensure inclusion in the voting process. In 2021, the group approached the Housing Board over the matter. They have finally got their voting rights by ruling on this petition.
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Manjul Thapliyal, a resident and owner in Jal Vayu Vihar Sector 21 since 1994, had been fighting for many years with his Voting Rights team at High Court, CP Gram, Noida Authority, for Equal Voting through RTI. Along with him, Pramod Gupta, R.K Nayyar, Manish Saxena, Col. Lalchandani, Major Chauhan, Umesh Batra, Umesh Kumar, Rajiv Goklani, Bipin and several other members had strived for years to put an end to this reported disparity.
Manjul Thapliyal says, “Apart from legal initiations in High Court, RTI, CPGRAMS, Noida Authority, Media, a lot of integration was done on political and administrative fronts. Now, on June 2, 2022, we have managed to restore parity and dignity with section 14 (1) where we are at par with navy and airforce personnel on voting rights. Today more than 2000 flat owners out of 3700 stands benefitted."
Umesh Batra, another resident of Jal Vayu Vihar says, “This is undoubtedly a much-awaited decision and a win for all Jal Vayu Vihar residents. For the past many years, residents had even threatened to stop paying the maintenance charges as they were treated as second-class residents. Voting is everyone's right."