The residents of Arihant Harmony, Indirapuram, can rest easy in times of crisis. That's because they have Alok Kumar and Debasis Sahoo at the helm of RWA affairs.
Alok Kumar, 44, was elected as the president of the Arihant Harmony Apartment Owners Association in 2011. Since then, it has been a robust five years for this Indirapuram society. Ask his general secretary Debasis Sahoo, and he gushes that their society is today one of the best in Indirapuram. With the duo at the helm, Arihant Harmony has moved from strength to strength, tackling every AOA issue systematically and efficiently.
City Spidey got chatting with Kumar and Sahoo recently:
Tell us about how the AOA was formed.
Kumar: It was formed in 2009 after a lot of tussle with the builder, Arihant Buildcon. The AOA finally got maintenance rights to the apartment. But that was just the beginning of the work — it still had to fight for sufficient power back-up. The builder had just given us a back-up of 150 KVA, which was way lesser than the required load. Though still in its nascent stage, the AOA, along with the residents, managed to mount sufficient pressure on the construction company and get the issue straightened out.
What do you think sets Arihant Harmony apart from the other societies in Indirapuram?
Sahoo: It is the only apartment that collects electricity and maintenance charges separately.
What are the main problems you face at Arihant Harmony?
Sahoo: One of its biggest problems, which many other societies face as well, is the sewer crisis in Indirapuram. Water overflowing from sewers flowed back into the basement, which was damaging the concrete foundation of the buildings.
How have you been tackling this?
Kumar: I have been in regular touch with Ghaziabad Development Authority [GDA] to solve the sewer blockage, but there have been no assurance from it at all. But as we know, resident outcry, without legal backing, always falls on deaf ears. It was only after the residents filed a writ petition in court that the GDA took notice.
Sahoo: The court issued orders to the GDA to do something about the sewer problem immediately. Had we not taken the legal route, we would still be exchanging pointless letters with the GDA. But thankfully, it has finally initiated some work to solve the sewer problem.
Alok Kumar is a passionate social activist. Does this help when dealing with such problems?
Kumar: I have filed some 4,000 RTIs so far, be it in the RERA case, or for encroachments and construction by-laws. If I have learnt one thing from my experience, it’s that real power lies with the democracy and the participation of the masses as one unified voice. Healthy criticism and discussions do bear results but not when dealing with government authorities.
What is the most recent initiative of the Arihant Harmony AOA?
Kumar: We are renovating and re-painting the society. Change is always good, and residents are looking forward to fun times.
Sahoo: It is a joint effort by the residents and the AOA, and we have finally begun work after a year of planning.