Staff Reporter

NEW DELHI: The Residents' Welfare Associations (RWAs) have welcomed the Delhi High Court order banning exorbitant entry fee charged by cooperative group housing societies (CGHS) from people buying flats from an existing member or an allottee in a society.

In a statement here on Tuesday, V. N. Bali, secretary of Ram Vihar RWA, said the order would provide relief to lakhs of buyers from extortion by CGHS managements who were a minority in these societies as most of the original plot or flat owners have already sold their holdings. "Only 10 to 15 per cent original members are left in any society," said Mr. Bali.

Mr. Bali also demanded that the CGHS be dissolved as they had become obsolete. "These societies have become beds of corruption and have become major road blocks for empowering the residents of a society," alleged Mr. Bali.

He further alleged that such societies do not do anything except collecting funds and sitting over them. "They have no interest in welfare of the residents."

Cooperative Era editor S. K. Chhibber said the role of the cooperatives societies was over more than three decades ago after plots or flats were allotted. "Subsequently it is the RWAs who have to step in and take care of all residents while treating them equally," he said.

Wing Commander (Retd) J. S. Chadha of the East of Kailash Federation of RWAs said the members of the CGHS were themselves to blame for the "murder of the cooperative movement". "Most of the members of the cooperative societies, who were given land at throwaway prices by the Government, have sold their houses or plots at high prices."

But taking advantage of the rules and regulations, these members continue to enjoy the status of president or secretary of the society without actually representing the residents, lamented Sandeep Sharma of Priya Enclave RWA.

On Monday, the High Court had ruled that anybody buying a flat or a plot from an existing member or allottee of a society cannot be charged by the society members lakhs of rupees as "entry fees" because legally there was no bar on selling of flat or plot by an allottee or a member.