Mumbai Police Commissioner Sanjay Pandey, in a Facebook live session, announced that every police station will have a police officer to address housing society related issues.
One Police officer to address Housing society issues
The police inspector in charge of public relations in each of the 90 odd police stations in Mumbai has been made the nodal officer for housing societies issues. The 30-minute video is available on Pandey’s Facebook page. In the video, he says that many complaints from societies are reported in police stations. However, the police force is lacking in solving the complaints.
Pandey also said that they will soon form a citizen forum. This forum is to ensure the people are well aware of the new developments. Hence there will be effective communication among the police, the civic body and BEST. Moreover, this will also ensure effective communication between other government departments and the citizens.
How will the forum work?
Police commissioner Sanjay Pandey said that the forum will be formed on two levels. Firstly, the regional level and secondly the zonal level. The regional level will have 15 people to represent the citizens. And the zonal level will have 60 people to represent the people.
Preparation of a bill is also on the way. The bill will enlist the responsibilities of the citizen forum. The bill will also have a list of ways in which government departments shall address the issue raised in the forum.
How this system will work?
The complaint process will happen in steps.
- The member should submit a written complaint. That will include the total explanation of the dispute or complaint in detail.
- Once the committee receives the complaint, The Managing Committee will review the complaint and make a decision. The Committee will communicate with the members regarding the decision within 15 days.
- Although if it happens that the Committee itself is harassing the resident, then the resident can approach the police station and file a complaint.
- If the Committee does not give any decision within 15 days then the members can approach any competent authority to readdress their complaint. The members should carry a copy of the original complaint letter.
How others reacted to this initiative of the Mumbai Police?
RTI activist Shailesh Gandhi said that the initiative is good but has to be accountable. He also said that there should be a thorough follow up on the complaints. “I think the initiative is good, but they need to be accountable. The police should publish monthly reports on the complaints received and their follow up or else Initiatives like these become useless if they are not monitored properly.”
Advocate Shirish Shanbhag said that having a police station is not enough, what people need is serious authorities to look into the matter. “You can make a complaint to the Police Station under Bye-law No. 1174(E)(i), for the misbehaviour with society’s members and their families. Having a police station is not enough, what we have is serious authorities to look into the matter.”
A resident of Navi Mumbai said, “I have been living in a cooperative housing society since 2002 in Navi Mumbai. We have one committee member who is an alcoholic and womanizer but supported by many members being part of his lobby, he takes pride in misbehaving usually with any member of society. He causes every inconvenience and harasses members; I think this announcement is a relief to book such arrogant committee members.”
Rupali Shastri, a resident of Borivali, one of the housing societies said, “Singles and having no families become really the prey of Committee carnages. Even in general body meetings, the lobby has its proposers and seconders. Others hardly have any say, even if someone manages to talk to the lobby and silence them tactfully. These people are a blot of the democratic system. Let’s hope these dedicated police stations do some good. In our society, we have become catalysts because we are victims of committee atrocities and still have our individual voices which bother the lobby and their agents. So, they restrict our entry on the terrace, or they will hassle us for parking, some of the other ways they softly brutalize us.”
The Mumbai Police initiative in itself is a good step towards addressing people’s concerns.