By Murari Chaturvedi
In 1997 a very important question was raised on the problems and administrative set up of co-operative Housing societies at the symposium organized by the Department of Co-operatives Government of Maharashtra. The question mooted was that whether we should opt for co-operative society structure or go for Flat Ownership Act, and further should there be a comprehensive independent authority for co-operative housing societies. No concrete decision was taken on this vital issue and even today the same condition prevails. Now the co-operation department is formulating the structure of co-operative societies. It is taking time and the decision is further extended for one more year. In the mean time the housing societies are instructed by the government to withhold the elections of their managing committees till the final decision on this all important issue of co-operative societies is made. In fact housing co-operative societies are coupled with all other co-operative societies such as co-operative credits societies, agricultural co-operative societies, and fisheries co-ops and so on. The case of housing co-operatives societies is special and all important and it should be dealt in specific manner. Co-operative housing societies should be dealt separately and not clubbed together with other co-operative societies , since the housing societies are required to deal with the special provisions of law like Transfer of Property Act 1872, the BMC Act 1888(in Mumbai) Stamp Act 1956 and such other laws, which does not apply to other co-operative societies. There should be only one Authority and integrated system invested with all the powers for co-operative housing societies. Of late the working of the housing societies has come under a lot of criticism and a number of serious complaints are there against working of the office bearers of housing societies. The complaints are about exorbitant transfer fees, non occupancy charges, NOC of society for giving flats on leave and license basis, general maintenance and plethora of other irregularities. No co-operation and high headedness of office bearers of housing societies in most of the societies. It is also necessary and feasible to adopt “one window approach” for all aspects of co-operative housing societies.