<p>Representative image<br></p>MUMBAI: The department of cooperatives, Mantralaya, on Friday directed the cooperatives commissioner, Pune to instruct all housing societies in the state that they cannot frame rules on their own banning entry of drivers and maids in their premises.
The letter issued by the department on Friday said that despite the government’s lockdown restrictions not barring the entry of domestic workers and drivers, some cooperative housing societies were restricting their access. Balasaheb Patil, minister for cooperation, told TOI the department would take strict action against a housing society if such a complaint was received. Maharashtra Societies Welfare Association (MahaSeva) said they would await a detailed SOP.Several housing societies had restricted entry to domestic help and drivers after the lockdown announced by the state and Centre in the last week of March.
“The office bearers of the Cooperative Housing Society should follow the instructions issued by the government from time to time regarding the admission of domestic workers and drivers for work in the housing societies. Also, contrary to these instructions, housing societies should not make rules, this matter should be brought to the notice of all cooperative housing societies in the state,” stated the letter by senior cooperatives department officer K C Badgujar.
Ramesh Prabhu, president of Maharashtra Societies Welfare Association (MahaSeva), a federation of housing societies, said, “Managing committees, therefore, cannot make their own rules in this regard but have to follow certain preventive measures suggested as an SOP (standard operating procedure). While we await detailed guidelines from the commissioner and registrar of societies in this regard, Friday’s letter by the cooperatives department makes the issue even more clear.”
Subhash Vishwasrao, chairman of housing society in Vasai. said while housing societies are understandably taking precautionary measures, “we should also consider the issues faced by senior citizens, the diffeerently abled and terminally ill patients who require the services of domestic help and drivers, without whom they are helpless.”
Several housing societies had restricted entry to domestic help and drivers after the lockdown announced by the state and Centre in the last week of March.
“The office bearers of the Cooperative Housing Society should follow the instructions issued by the government from time to time regarding the admission of domestic workers and drivers for work in the housing societies. Also, contrary to these instructions, housing societies should not make rules, this matter should be brought to the notice of all cooperative housing societies in the state,” stated the letter by senior cooperatives department officer K C Badgujar.
Ramesh Prabhu, president of Maharashtra Societies Welfare Association (MahaSeva), a federation of housing societies, said, “Managing committees, therefore, cannot make their own rules in this regard but have to follow certain preventive measures suggested as an SOP (standard operating procedure). While we await detailed guidelines from the commissioner and registrar of societies in this regard, Friday’s letter by the cooperatives department makes the issue even more clear.”
Subhash Vishwasrao, chairman of housing society in Vasai. said while housing societies are understandably taking precautionary measures, “we should also consider the issues faced by senior citizens, the diffeerently abled and terminally ill patients who require the services of domestic help and drivers, without whom they are helpless.”

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