The strange story behind Saya Zenith's first AOA
People often assume that elections are simple. In reality, however, they are far from it — be it for a nation, a state or a residential society. Saya Zenith in Indirapuram, one of the most sought-after condominiums in Ahinsa Khand II, "elected" its first AOA (Apartment Owners Association) on April 16. The election process started from 8 am and continued until 2 pm.
The enthusiasm among residents was palpable, as voters started to pour in right from 8 am. The elections witnessed a good turnout of 41 per cent. As with any election these days, social media was the preferred platform to attract and sensitise voters. Social media groups of the society were abuzz with pictures of the voters and predictions of the poll. Of the 15 who had filed nominations, nine were chosen as part of the AOA. The excitement and jubilation outside the vote-counting centre were a result of some much-needed relief from the constant battle for a new AOA over the past one year.
First voter, Vivek Vats, right at the polling booth in club
A year back, the society started the process of forming a new AOA. Initially, only a few came forward but eventually, a number of nominations were filed.
But too many cooks spoilt the broth. As soon as there were different people united for a common cause, there were arguments, allegations and altercations. The election commissioners withdrew their names. The elections had to be called off at the last minute. No election commissioners, no elections.
Saya Zenith was back to square one — a family without a head.
Residents wait outside the club for election results
With time residents realised the importance of a managing committee. It helped improved the quality of society life, and residents were certain they needed an AOA to function properly. The election process was re-initiated — this time with a handful of names. Apprehensions and uncertainty dissuaded many from coming forward. In November 2016, a team of nine members was formed at the general body meeting.
Unfortunately, the team wasn't prepared to tackle social media bashing, allegations, contentions and non-availability of other AOA members. Soon, a few of the members resigned, while others were persuaded to put in their papers.
The society was back to where it started. Again.
With no governing body for 450 residents, problems were bound to escalate. Issues such as hike in the maintenance charges, exorbitant sewage and water bills, and non-functional lifts were just a few of them. Seniors residents took the reins of the society in their hands and came up with a Senior Member Forum, which would also include a few young members to discuss issues with the builder and with GDA, till the AOA was formed.
Although the forum did manage to address a few of the issues, the gaping void the absence of an AOA presented was clear to everyone. Residents knew a proper election was the only solution to their problems.
Election commissioners at work on voting day
The election process started with 18 nominations and five resident election commissioners: PK Jain, Sanjay Kumar, Nidesh Khatri, Munish Agarwal and RS Johri. Election commissioners this time ensured a conducive environment, built up the morale of candidates and succeeded in conducting fair elections. The experience of the volunteers and election commissioners came in handy, and Saya Zenith finally had its own AOA, late on the night of April 16.
The nine-member AOA team comprises Kanishk Kaushik, Manoj Rao, Nitin Agarwal, Narhari Singh Chauhan, Pallavi Agarwal, Shobhith Garg, Swati Roy, Trilochan Singh Chhabra and VK Painully.
Although there has been no formal induction that the fresh committee members have gone through, the elected members are all set to shoulder the huge responsibility that lies ahead. Several residents have volunteered to take up additional responsibilities.
Here's hoping for the best for this new AOA. Fingers crossed!