Tamil Nadu

Initiative on upkeep of tenements gathers pace

The tenements in Perumbakkam needs several residents’ welfare associations for the upkeep of the flats.

The tenements in Perumbakkam needs several residents’ welfare associations for the upkeep of the flats. | Photo Credit: B. JOTHI RAMALINGAM

Despite lukewarm response in the beginning, Tamil Nadu Urban Habitat Development Board’s (TNUHDB) initiative Nam Kudiyiruppu, Nam Poruppu (Our tenements, our responsibility), which aims at gradually shifting the task of maintenance of flats to the residents, has gained traction.

As a first step, the board is persuading the residents in its apartment blocks in different places across the State to form residents welfare associations (RWAs). A total of 394 RWAs have been formed so far, mainly over the last couple of months, the officials said.

TNUHDB has tenements in 354 sites across Tamil Nadu. Depending on the population in each site, the Board has assessed that 694 RWAs needed to be formed. For instance, large resettlement sites like the one in Perumbakkam alone will have around 100 associations while smaller sites will have fewer associations.

M. Govinda Rao, Managing Director of TNUHDB, said more than 50 % of the targeted number of associations have been formed.

As per the scheme introduced last year, TNUHDB will provide financial grants matching the maintenance charges collected by the associations. The associations will be responsible for routine maintenance and minor repair works. The board will be responsible for managing major repairs and water supply and electricity charges for common areas in the buildings.

Though a few RWAs have been in existence in some of the sites for a few years, they were not tasked with the maintenance work until the introduction of Nam Kudiyiruppu, Nam Poruppu scheme.

Mr. Rao said one of the difficulties faced earlier in getting the residents to form associations was the financial charges involved. “The government has announced that these registration charges will be taken care by the board,” he said. Moreover, as an incentive to newly formed associations, he said the board will be releasing in advance three months of grants matching the maintenance charges.

J.A. Nirmal Raj, Chief Community Development officer of the board, said capacity building exercises were being carried out in parallel to help the residents in understanding the bylaws to be followed, maintenance of various records and other activities involved in running RWAs.

“We have a few RWAs which have been functioning proactively for many years now. We are making the members of these associations to interact with other newly formed associations,” he said.

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Printable version | Aug 8, 2022 6:46:09 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/initiative-on-upkeep-of-tenements-gathers-pace/article65600103.ece