Friday, July 7, 2017

RWAs divided on need for such committees : The Hindu

Residents unsure if meetings are held

From being political platforms for the ruling party to useful tools to raise local concerns, residents’ welfare associations (RWAs) are divided on the need for police station or thana-level committees.
With the Delhi government looking to revive the committees, which is chaired by the area MLA, residents say that the meetings of the thana-level committees have never been held regularly, if ever.

Police visits

“We haven’t had any thana or district-level committee meetings. However, once in a while police officers visit the area, particularly around festivals. When we had a spate of car thefts in the area recently, we told the police, but did not get the right reply,” said Chetan Sharma, the chairperson of the Federation of Greater Kailash-II RWAs and the secretary-general of the Confederation of NCR RWAs. He added that if the thana-level committee did exist, the “gap between what the public wants and what the police does” would be bridged. 
East Delhi RWAs Joint Front president B.S. Vohra said that there had been no meetings of any such committee that had been called by the MLAs in the past two years.

Genuine stakeholders

“Police officers hold meetings, but that is only once in six months or so. These thana committees can be beneficial only if the genuine stakeholders are called. There is a danger of the MLAs only including their own supporters, like in the mohalla sabhas,” said Mr. Vohra. 
In some areas, even when the committees were holding meetings, they weren’t regular or very useful, according to residents.

‘Political meeting’

Geeta Bhargava, the honorary general secretary of the Defence Colony RWA, said the last meeting of the thana-level committee, of which she was a member, that she attended was held about two years ago.
“We would be asked what our concerns were, but there was no result. It was more of a political meeting. We have a good rapport with the Station House Officer so we don’t really need the committee,” said Ms. Bhargava.

with thanks : The Hindu : LINK

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