Residents’ body for RWA Manifesto to set political agenda

Resolves to observe November 23 as National RWA Day

Kept out of the political discourse for long, Resident Welfare Associations (RWA)s across the country have resolved to demand their fair share of attention from the political class that is often at the helm of affairs at Urban Local Bodies (ULB)s and other civic authorities.

The Confederation of RWAs (CoRWA), the national apex body representing residents’ associations across the country, has decided to issue an RWA Manifesto to set the agenda for political parties as a run-up to the 2019 general elections.

As a conglomeration of several thousands of RWAs from across the country, the six year old CoRWA has been spearheading the RWA movement by has been successful in not only raising with central and state governments important issues that impact residents in general, but also in formulating important policies such the RERA Act.

The issue of formulating the RWA Manifesto came up for discussion at the recently concluded National Conference of RWAs (NCRWA) in Hyderabad.

Till now none among the political dispensation has taken up in a structured manner of the issues that confront RWAs and hence the move to formulate an RWA Manifesto to guide the discourse, Dr Rao VBJ Chelikani, President CoRWA, told Tarnaka Times.

We will kick off the exercise in a concerted manner and rope in all resident welfare federations and other bodies in this, said Col. T P Tyagi, Convenor, CoRWA adding it would be complete in a month or so.

On top of the long list of demands is the issue of Constitutional recognition to RWAs, a topic that was discussed with the Minister of Housing and Urban Development Shri Hardeep Singh Puri some time back but has not been addressed in a concrete manner yet.

The reason for this demand is linked to the utilization (or rather underutilization) of the 20% of the performance-based fund allocations to ULBs as per the 14th Finance Commission formula for devolution of finances though states governments for urban upkeep.  This unutilized funds should be devolved to constitutionally recognized bodies that are also stakeholders for the effective implementation of programmes, the RWAs contend.

According to Col. Tyagi some of points likely to figure in the RWA Manifesto are:

  1. Constitutional recognition to RWAs

  2. Devolution of unspent funds under performance guarantee component as per the 14th Finance Commission

  3. Effective implementation of the Vendor Protection Act and formation of Vendor Committee

  4. Mandatory facilities like restrooms, water, insurance etc. for workers at Labour addas

  5. Mandatory Quick Reaction Teams (QRT) for road repairs in all municipal areas

  6. E-Waste collection centres in all areas

Meeting on the sidelines of the NCRWA the General Body of the CoRWA appointed Shri KSR Murthy, General Secretary as the coordinator for the RWA Manifesto to gather views from all RWAs and RWA federations from across the country.

At the same time the CoRWA is also set to communicate a 10-point Action Plan to all UBLs in the country to set the agenda apart from a request to the Union Urban Development Ministry to study and explore the Chinese model of Resident Associations.

The General Body also resolved to declare November 23rd as the National RWA Day and observe the day every year to recognize and reward best performing RWA representatives and spread the RWA movement further.

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