Social media, technology are changing how housing societies are managed

26 Aug 2018

Members are adopting mobile apps and accommodating modern relationships, but finding hurdles along the way too.

There’s a lot more to running a housing society today — security, GST, CCTV networks and social media. The average society is also bigger and plusher, which means more residents, staff, amenities and maintenance. While Eversweet Society in Versova is trying to figure out ways to implement modern systems for waste segregation, Usha Kiron society in Colaba is struggling to find parking space for its residents, most of whom have multiple vehicles. And Sunflower Co-operative in Kandivli is finding it hard to handle its WhatsApp group.

“I miss the days when our complex of 120 flats was like a family. Now it is more disjointed and insular. Families meet only when there is a formal meeting or a big festival,” says Rajesh Arondekar, secretary of Sunflower co-operative for over 10 years.

The best way to work in a situation like this, he says, is to go by the book. “Be it elections or issues with parking, we make sure that every rule is followed to the T, and things run smoothly,” he adds.

The book, however, is becoming too heavy, feels Rajeev Matta, secretary of Eversweet for 10 years. “We had a housing society election last year in the presence of an official from the registrar’s office. While this is a good process, it is a little cumbersome. There also a proposal to change to is now,” he says. “As someone heading a housing society, I think we should be updated with fresh ideas and aspirations of members. More people need to be involved.”

Whether or not to embrace social media is another dilemma. Matta’s management committee has a WhatsApp group where they update each other about meetings and things to be done but they are yet to set up a Facebook page. “We avoid that and prefer human interaction if anyone has a query,” he says.

Arondekar points out that they avoid social media because it can become a free-for-all and lead to conflict. “We don’t want allegations of abuse and defamation. What is the point? We may consider practical apps if need be,” he adds.