Where will AOAs/RWAs get cash for emergencies?
The sudden demonitisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes has not only hit households across the country but also resident bodies and maintenance offices of residential societies. RWAs and AOAs in Indirapuram, Ghaziabad, are finding it difficult to pay for their day-to-day expenses, such as immediate maintenance issues and daily office supplies and resources.
Unable to deposit cheques due to heavy rush at banks, management staff of several societies said they were stuck with cheques worth lakhs of rupees. Those who did manage to deposit the cheques said banks were taking longer than usual to clear the amounts. This, in turn, delayed salaries of staff such as electricians, plumbers and gardeners.
Vinay Jaiswal, part of the management staff at Arihant Harmony in Indirapuram, shuddered to think what a disaster it would have been had they not cleared staff salaries and payments before November 8. “One of our employees, who was paid with a cheque of Rs 10,000, is still waiting to get it encashed," he said.
"We are not much different from families who are finding it difficult to cope,” Jaiswal added. “We do not have cash in hand; in case of maintenance emergencies, say, a sudden rupture in a water pipeline in the society, how do we deal with the situation?"
Jigyasu Pun, president of the Gaur Green City AOA, said the society’s maintenance office was stuck with cheques worth Rs 8 lakh but were not being able to deposit them. “This has disrupted the flow of money in the system,” he added.
The Gaur Green City AOA usually takes payments in cheque, but in case a cheque bounces, the maintenance office asks for payments in cash. These then fund AOA’s daily petty expenses. However, with the cash becoming useless, these have come to an abrupt halt. "We have to run around to even buy a bottle of glue," Pun added.
DK Maurya, president of the Niho Scottish Gardens AOA, said the demonetisation had prompted many residents to make advance payments for services in cash. However, he said the AOA office was not accepting cash payments, as RWAs did not have a place in the government's list of utilities that could accept the now-invalid denominations.
Most RWA and AOA members City Spidey spoke to were firm on one point — that even though this was a good initiative to curb money hoarding and laundering, the government should have planned it better, ensuring a smooth flow of fresh cash into the system.