Champions of Community Living

January 10, 2012

Apartment Owners’ Association says NO to Bribe!

Filed under: Community Living,Good Citizen — san @ 1:32 pm

Guest post by Mr. Sajin K. , Treasurer of a 165 Apartment Complex in Bangalore.

Wanted to let this group know of a recent happening in our community, which might be useful for you if you (or friends) have other properties in Karnataka.

Around 2 months back, we got a notice from Pollution Control Board (PCB) that an amount of Rs. 1,20,000 need to be paid for 6 years (Jan 2007 – Dec 2012). The builder and association decided to split this as 40+80, considering the respective ownership periods.

When we went to pay this amount, the PCB officials said an environment report need to be made and it costs Rs. 7,500 per year, totaling Rs. 45,000. This was to be paid to an agency that conducts surveys. We enquired with some nearby apartments of similar size and the estate managers there said this need to be paid. So we went back with DD worth 1.2 lacs and a cheque to the agency for Rs. 45,000. And then, they started demanding Rs. 5,000 per year bribe (i.e. Rs. 30,000) and refused to accept the DD if that was not paid.

At this stage, I started looking for someone credible to see what exactly is this process. Remembering a similar topic being discussed on WaterBLR ADDA, requested ApartmentADDA’s help in getting introduced to the right people and got in touch with Dr. Ananth who is an expert in this field. He said neither is the environment report needed and also that once the DD is paid (at a different office) we can just courier the forms to PCB so no question about bribe either.

So here we were, with Dr. Ananth assuring us that Rs. 75,000 is in effect a bribe and we do not need to pay any of it and on the other side every estate manager we knew advising there is no other way but pay up. In the meanwhile, our Association President and I started getting calls threatening us of “dire consequences” if we do not pay up immediately, including disconnecting our electricity etc. We were in a real dilemma as we knew quite a few at our Complex will be very upset with us, if any of the threatening actually materialized. As if that isn’t enough, some people from the builder’s side too started putting pressure to pay.

Finally with Dr. Ananth’s help we found an honest officer in PCB and closed the matter without paying a paise in bribe. But we were indeed surprised by the amount of ignorance about this and to see that almost every apartment pays up this “audit fee” and bribe.

So, please tell your friends this:

  • Environment Audit Reports are not required for residential apartments, since an amendment made way back in 1992. People demanding this are just trying to extract money out of our ignorance.
  • All we need to submit along with the annual fee is a form called Form V, which can be downloaded free from the PCB website (attached here as well). Most of the fields in this form doesn’t apply to us and filling this is hardly 10 minutes’ job.
  • Finally, the PCB does have powers but the people threatening with “consequences” are just trying to cash in on the fear factor and usually cannot do anything without very valid reasons
  • The said form and relevant amendment are attached herewith. This is all one needs while paying the fee.

Hope this will help save some hard-earned money for your friends’ communities also.

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November 10, 2011

Namma Bengaluru Awards 2011

Filed under: Community Living,Good Citizen — san @ 12:08 pm

Nominate your Association!

As the tagline of this Champions blog says “Every Neighbourhood has its champions”, the Namma Bengaluru Foundation is recognizing these champions with the Namma Bengaluru Awards.  The Award celebrates extra-ordinary contributions to the society by ordinary citizens of Bengaluru.

You can nominate your RWA / Owners Association, to recognize the selfless service they may be doing to the neighbourhood, or you could nominate a neighbour known to go out of his way in helping the community!

Here is the link to Nominate: http://namma-bengaluru.org/nbf/online_nomination_form.aspx

—————————————————————————————————–

Details from Ms. Usha Dhanaraj, Manager, Namma Bengaluru Foundation

Dear Sir/Madam

The Namma Bengaluru Awards 2011 has been launched and we invite you to nominate an Individual/Group/Organization/Social Entrepreneur/Elected Representatives/Government Departments of Bengaluru, working for the city and its causes. Launched in 2009, the Namma Bengaluru Awards (NBA) is an annual event that recognizes and rewards extra-ordinary contributions by ordinary citizens of Bengaluru.

Who can you nominate? The answer is Anybody (person/organization) who took the initiative to save the park in your areas, kept your roads clean and cleared the garbage – be it rain or shine, gave security to old people, took care of hurt animals, uplifted children in dire situations, worked on conservation related issues and helped better the City’s environment, or has supported people to realize their dreams. Students can nominate their teachers / professors, neighbourhoods: their Resident Welfare Associations, or BBMP or BWSSB officer, local residents their local police personnel, employees their colleagues etc. Please remember that you can nominate one individual/organization per form and you cannot self nominate.

It is important that you find time to nominate and thank all of them. The Namma Bengaluru Awards are a way for all of us to honour those selfless individuals who have gone way beyond their call of duty. Remember, your nomination, your single nomination can help your nominee win the award because the only criterion for the winner is the quality of work done and not the number of nominations received.

Please circulate this mail  among your friends and families and help Bengaluru find its true hero’s.

To nominate:

You can find the Online Nomination form (English & Kannada) at: http://namma-bengaluru.org/nbf/online_nomination_form.aspx

You can also download the form at

http://namma-bengaluru.org/nbf/nomination_pdf/NOMINATION_FORM_2011.pdf

and mail it to us at nba2011@namma-bengaluru.org.

For more information do log on to www.namma-bengaluru.org

You can also pick the nomination forms from Food world, CUPPA, Coffee Day , Bangalore One or Ammi’s Biryani outlets.

Please remember the last date for nominations is 30th Nov 2011.

Thanks & Regards,

Usha Dhanaraj

Manager – Programmes & Resources

Namma-Bengaluru Foundation

#3J, NA Chambers,3rd Cross

7th C Main, 3rd Block

Koramangala,Bangalore – 560 034

09591985287

www.namma-bengaluru.org

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October 13, 2011

Bangalore Graduates Constituency

Filed under: Good Citizen — san @ 7:32 am

Bangalore Graduates Constituency Poster

Your Graduate Degree got you knowledge, it got you the desired career, did you know it also got you something else that’s exclusive?

A RIGHT to vote in the Bangalore Graduates Constituency Elections!

And just like you, we believe that if we have a hard earned Right, it MUST be exercised!  So all Graduates in Bangalore (received degree 3 years or prior) have this right to vote-in an honest and deserving MLC – Member of the Legislative Council.  Do not miss this opportunity and get registered to vote in this Election.

Registration Process is very simple:

1. Print Form-18 and fill it. form18

2. Take a copy of your Degree Certificate and Address Proof of Bangalore.

3. Take all the above along with the original Degree Certificate, for verification, to the nearest BBMP Office!  Please note this has to be done by yourself.

Registration closes 5-Nov-2011!

Apartment Owners Associations can help:

As responsible Governing Bodies, you could spread the word within the complex. We have created READYMADE posters, which you could just print, fill in the location of the Nearest BBMP Office, and put it up on your Notice Board!  You could also print and put up the FAQs available below. To close the loop, you could print and distribute Form 18 to all Residents.

Poster: Download Bangalore Graduates Constituency

FAQ : FAQ-Bangalore Graduates Constituency

Three cheers to responsible Citizenship!

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