Saturday, June 30, 2012

A little note of THANKS for the present EC!!

Kudos to the EC and the members thereof.
They cannot publish a list of DEFAULTERS, but they can decide when to stop and re-start the water-supply and DG back-up.
They can, without any prior notice (inspite of publishing an agenda) conduct a poll on whether to continue with PropCare, however  they cannot take any one’s opinion while deciding the water supply  and DG back-up timings. They want every body residing in the complex to conform to a typical Chennai way of living, ie waking up at 4 am and finish off all the chores by 11 am.
They cannot re-concile their accounts even after two months of holding the office.  They cannot publish a statement of account of the expenses done till now. They cannot penalise the defaulters, however, they can make all the residents (including those who have PAID)  suffer by implementing “CUT TIMES” (11 am to 4 pm and 11pm to 4 am)!!!  That too, the notices are pasted in the lift bays stealthily during late-evenings!!!
Inspite of repeated suggestions from the members, the defaulters are not facing any action. ALL members are being subjected to a COLLECTIVE  regulation!!
From the beginning we had a shortage of funds. So why wasn’t it used judiciously and we had an extravaganza of DG back-up in the club-house running so many ACs and equipments on DG???
After running office for one month, they came to know of their inept-ness in matters of collection of dues. So why any action wasn’t taken (other than issuing some notices-ultimatum, reminder, final-remainder!!!) ???
Everytime the same excuse of new –ness in office and voluntary thankless job cannot be sold to the members!! When the EC found that they are unable to run the show , (and this happened long back) they should have handed over the facility management and funds and collection of funds to PropCare. In reality, they began to run a one man show (to quote some fellow residents!)
Now after spending all the funds( which is nothing but our hard-earned money), they are stating we have brought ourselves to this situation!!!  And ordering us to make necessary arrangements to utilise water and power resources!
We are not used to living without power back-up for many years now, and considering the regular long outages (12 pm to 3pm) during the afternoon naptime of my kid, I have to think of alternate ways. I cannot allow the health of my family members to go for a toss due to lack of sleep because of the whims and fancies of some so called grey-haired office-bearers!!!
Since I need to make my own power back-up arrangements, ie buy an inverter and make necessary wirings, I need to save and will not be able to pay for any charges to this association further. (As it is NOTHING HAPPENS HERE IF YOU DO NOT PAY!!!!) Moreover, I would not want to be a member of such an association and would like to have my Membership fees of 5k returned.  That might help me to buy bigger buckets to STORE WATER like they do in slums and also help me in saving for the legal counsel that I am planning to resort  to!!
 Thanks a ton EC, for  leading us onto this life-style!!!!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Sewage in your flush, happens only @ Mantri's

Took this photo,  the morning after the matter was reported to PropCare  (maintenance agency) at Mantri synergy.. And residents , lesser mortals, haven't a clue to why this is happening.  We are, by now, used to our bedroom commode running dry for much of the time because of chronic problem with sewage treatment plant (STP) system. When we do have water in our flush,occasionally, we have odor emanating from chemically treated water recycled from STP..
Since Monday afternoon however, we have at D block had dark murky water with stench flowing through toilet. Looks as if untreated sewage is being flushed into our toilets. I couldn't believe my own eyes and nose when I first noticed the phenomenon yesterday afternoon. How, and why would anyone want to flush sewage into our bedroom toilet. I worked our toilet two or three times over the next 30 minutes before reporting  the matter to our maintenance office.
PropCare chief, and another person I called, said they would look into it right away. In a properly functioning set up you expect things to get sorted out soon; or at least get a status report on the situation. And when nothing of this sort happened till this morning (Tuesday), I took the photo, just in case someone thinks I am hellucinating. Sewage is the last thing you expect to have your toilet flushed with. Wonder whose bright idea it was, and why.
I wish PropCare chief or someone else in his office had called back to tell us what went wrong and, for how long would they expect us to put up with sewage in our flush.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Should 'chaat' be put to vote ?

A lady in C Block (Mantri's)  phoned  to ask if I had any info. on how the chaat corner  under the mango tree came to be opened. She had called Balaji at PropCare, who referred her to the association executive committee..        
The lady knows my non-status; but said she called me for guidance as a friend. If she were aware  that I am a prime 'culprit' , she didn't give me any indication. Was it proper for the association EC to have permitted 'chaat' shop on Mantri premises without securing general body resolution ? A loaded question, that one.
As an apartment owner she felt it was her right to be consulted before putting common area to such use.. She wanted to know the terms on which the chaat shop was allowed; the rent, if any, the shop-owner  agreed to pay  and whether there was a written contract. I suggested such issues were best addressed  to the association secretary or president.
On my part, I told the lady the chaat shop idea was first floated  in this blog several weeks back. And since then a group of us have been chatting about it now and then.The suggestion for chaat corner, instead of a car park (as Mantri's had planned) evoked a positive response from residents. Admittedly, we didn't put it to   vote, because the idea didn't come from the association.
In fact, the association had little to do with the process, though the credit for 'discovering' the chaatwallah must go to Mr Vasudevan, and Mr Krishna. Both of them, though prominent in the association, acted  as individuals enthusiastic about an in-house arrangement for chatpati paapdi and chaat-samosa (served with chena). Shop-owner also promises roti-sabzi and paronta of many varieties.
To be fair to the lady,  when I mentioned I was the culprit, she agreed the idea was good, but her objection was to the manner in which we went about it. If the lady is set on moving the matter at the general body, my hope is that the 'chaat' vote doesn't go her way.

He bikes to work, via OMR

Sharath Namibiar, 51, takes a bicycle to work - from his residence at Madambakkam to office at Dakshinachitra on ECR,  near MGM Dizee World..
He feels comfortable biking in shorts and T-shirt. Mr Nambiar, who keeps a change of clothes at office, showers and changes before taking his seat in office as administrator. Cycling to work keeps him fit and healthy; and hike in fuel price doesn't worry Mr Namibiar much. He has a car that uses for family outings on weekends.
His bike ride to office takes him via OMR. Would be nice if you could drop by our place, Mantri Synergy, Mr Nambiar. There is much that many of us could learn from your experience in biking to office, which, says The Hindu report, you have been doing since 2009. Besides, your visit would give us a chance  to have our photos taken with the bike and you.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Mantri 'mahila' makes headline

A Dinamani write-up by N Jeeva says Geetha Viswanathan (C block) can cut a blouse to suit your taste, and purse. A 100-rupee blouse would make as much of fashion statement as the one billed Rs.3,000.(didn't know a blouse can make such a big hole in your pocket). Whether you pay Rs.100 or Rs.3,000 customer taste is what fashion designing is all about. Geetha  runs a community college in Adyar that initiates the interested in fashion designing.
The thing about Geetha's school is that it is students who choose their syllabus . If your interest is only in fashioning designer blouse, they run a crash course. If  salwaar-kameez is what you fancy, Geetha wouldn't inflict on you a course on Saari or bridalwear.
Turning on its head a well-worn cliche - 'behind every successful man, lurks a woman' - Geetha concedes her motivational factor was Kasi Viswanathan. She had an opportunity to travel with her husband to some interior parts of India. The experience, she says, facilitated her to acquire nuances of specialist crafts such as aari, Kasoti and Kutch embroidery.
Mr Viswanthan, advocate by training, is a concert musician who now devotes much of his time initiating Mantri children into the joys of music.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Mantri's sewage disposal issue, a band-aid solution

Having spent much of Friday without water, my first thought on waking up this morning was, 'Would there be water in bathroom tap ?'  There was. PropCare had arranged to transport overnight as much as 35 truckloads of  STP treated water out of Mantri Synergy.  That each truck costs us Rs.800 is another issue that is waiting to explode.  Mantri's, I understand,  have run up arrears in payment so much that  truck owners have served us an ultimatum.
Back to the STP issue , two motors in the plant  burnt out around 11 a m, Friday. As Ujjal Mukherjee (E-803) put it, we don't have proper drainage system, and as Mantri's sewage treatment plant (STP) has limited processing capacity, sewage overflow burns the circuit. This happened Friday (yesterday) morning. To cut back on pressure building up in our sewage tank  PropCare turned  off water pipeline to apartments.
Mantri residents spent rest of the day, and  well into late evening, without water, while the maintenance staff coped with 1)  repair of the burnt out  motors; and 2) hiring trucks to take away water from STP tank. By 6 p m the trucks started moving; and after the exit  of six or seven trucks the water pipeline to apartments was opened (around 9 p m). Sewage trucks moved through the night, causing added disturbance to H block residents (because of trucks getting filled in their backyard).
Irony is, we pay Rs.600 per truck  for clean water we fill into sumps, while it costs us Rs.800 per truck to transport STP water out of Mantri's.
STP's handling capacity can be increased if we have an additional storage tank. Space is said to be a constraint in creating additional storage capacity.  Till Mantri's had with them leased space from the farm next door excess water from STP flowed  into a sewage pond in the leased space. Now that Mantri's have handed over this space, we are left with no option but to pay Rs.800 a truck for its driver to discharge our sewage somewhere out of our sight. The other option we adopted -  letting  out sewage  into the main road. evoked protest  morcha against Mantri's by Padur residents.
A way out the mess is in laying a pipeline along the road to the Padur panchayat sewage system. Does anyone know how the panchayat handle sewage disposal in their area ? This is an area where we, at Mantri's, along with other emerging neighbourhood communities - Rosedale, Akshaya, Ouranya Bay, X-S Real, the Gem Group, the Jains and the Poorvanka's - need to draw up an integrated sewage and solid disposal strategy, in co-ordination with Padur Panchayat. Who would take the lead ?
Meanwhile, would anyone know whatever  happened to a proposal, taken up by the previous PropCare chief Sivaram, for laying a sewage pipeline connecting Mantri's with the integrated sewage disposal system involving the Hindustan University and Padur panchayat ? We have reason to believe Mantri's didn't actively follow up the  proposal because of the cost involved. Shouldn't corporate Mantri be asked to pay for the pipeline? Isn't it time we revived the pipeline proposal ? Couldn't we make this a joint venture pipeline, along with Rosedale and others ?More questions would arise before we find the answer.

Friday, June 1, 2012

At our Chennai backyard

An untrained eye can't spot the row of birds in flight in necklace formation. We see them every morning  over our backyard on OMR, Chennai, headed  towards Kovalam sea-front.
You need better camera, and a proficient lens-man to capture this morning scene with all details in sharp focus. This one, posted for SkyWatch, is shot by a novice, with an amateur camera.