Hard Cash Day 35: How RWAs and societies are coping with it
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Hard Cash Day 35: How RWAs and societies are coping with it

City Spidey tracks demonetisation across the NCR to find out how societies are managing without cash, and how it is impacting maintenance functions.

Hard Cash Day 35: How RWAs and societies are coping with it

Will the pain of the currency ban be worth the benefits it is expected to usher in? Nobody knows. Its long-term impact on the economy is still to be determined, however, in the short term, plans have been derailed, people have been rendered cashless, and things have generally spiralled out of control. City Spidey tracks demonetisation across the NCR to know how people, RWAs and societies are coping with the dramatic anti-corruption move.  

Secretary of Federation of Cooperative Group Housing Societies, Dwarka, and secretary of Delhi Apartments, Sector 22, Sudha Sinha, says, "The management of societies is becoming extremely tough -- acute cash crunch has badly impacted the daily expenses. The guards and the maids are the worst affected."

He further explains, "For a society, it is not always practical and possible to pay the guards online or through cheques. Suppose, you are paying six guards Rs 9,000 each. You hand over a cheque of Rs 54,000. It would be extremely difficult for them to encash that amount from the bank, right?"

He adds, "Any society has a lot of daily expense -- take for instance, generator fuel. If you are going to be using a credit card to buy, it will have to be someone's, since societies don't have credit cards. Banks, too, are helpless. They are not paying the entire Rs 24,000 at one go! So, societies are finding it harder by the day."

President of Federation of RWAs (FORWAS) and president of Ganpati Apartments of Sector 9, Advocate KS Bhati, agreed. "The cash crunch has practically paralysed the working of RWAs. Payment of salary to staff and security personnel is putting tremendous pressure on the managing committee. The banking system is chocked. Political outbursts will further destabilise the already fragile situation."

Noida RWAs, too, are facing a similar crisis. 

JC Narang, a resident of Telecom City, a residential society in Sector 62, said, "All development work in the society has come to a halt. We are shifting towards cashless payments for annual maintenance contractors and housekeeping staff. But, you still need cash for urgent repair work, such as leaking pipes, faulty electricity cables and others."

Bhanvar Pal Singh, RWA president of Jivan Ashray, another residential society in Sector 62, iterated, "The society office doesn't have any cash. We couldn't even replace a few bulbs, let alone repair electric lines. The electricians will take payments only in cash. So, it's a bad situation right now!"

The society manager of GAIL Apartments in Sector 62, Himanshu Sharma, added, "The repair of a faulty underground cable has been pending since a fortnight. I bought the cable with cheque, but the labourers, naturally, want to be paid in cash. So, we are just twiddling our thumbs."

The CGHS in East Delhi's IP Extension, too, are hamstrung by the currency ban.   

JP Rajput, a resident, and treasurer of Bharat Apartment, said, “Ever since the ban, no one in my society has paid the maintenance charges in small denominations. We have a single bank account, and we can withdraw only Rs 2,500 a day. While, we need to spend Rs 5,000 for daily society maintenance.” 

Om Prakash, a managing committee member of Paradise Apartment, said, “The situation has become so dire that we have to wait for days even for the smallest of work." 

Vinod Chauhan, president of Parivar Apartment, said, “The managing committee members are mostly senior citizens. We use smartphones, but we are still not comfortable with digital banking. In fact, we have asked a few residents to help us with online banking on December 18, when they come to pay maintenance charges."