Mafias in housing societies... By Dr Ejaz
05 October, 2012
Employees' housing societies are primarily meant for the employees of the sponsoring body, normally being reputed public or private sector organisations. Land is acquired at cheaper rates and plots are allocated to employees who later sell them according to market rates. The buyer will usually construct a house of his/her own. Later on, he/she learns that, in spite of investing all their life savings and even being in a majority in the colony, they have no right to vote or raise any voice in any matter pertaining to their own society. The original owners of the plots have left behind a team of employees/ex-employees to manage the affairs of the society according to their own whims for a gainful return.
The sponsoring body, in the meantime, acquires some other piece of land and establishes Phase II or III of the same society under the same name, distributing the plots to its employees again to retain its numerical majority for continuing its hold on the affairs of the society. Development of the society is done through their own contractors, commercial plots are sold to buyers of their own choice, residential plots are distributed to the employees according to their own will, heavy fees are charged for the conversion of residential plots to commercial plots, long term leasing is carried out without following any procedures and practically the entire wealth of the society is squeezed out for the body's own gains.
The Registrar Cooperatives is a legal authority established to keep an eye on the affairs of the societies but, regretfully, the two collude to promote this real estate business. No other authority has ever intervened in this matter despite repeated appeals and reminders. Even the decisions of the courts have been flouted many a time and the poor residents have to suffer. The governor Punjab has decreed that no court or authority has any jurisdiction to question the decision of the Registrar Cooperatives. The Secretary Cooperatives Department seems to have some administrative authority but, unfortunately, appeals of this nature lie pending for years without any hearing due to the non-appearance of the registrar or his representative. Similarly, deaf ears are offered to such appeals from the highest forum — the chief minister himself. Can anybody suggest a way out? Do we need to burden the already overburdened judiciary for such petty matters?
Dr Ejaz Ahmad Qureshi