Saying that they do not have the authority to go against government orders, many resident welfare associations (RWAs) in the city Saturday opened their gates to domestic helps, electricians and plumbers after restricting their entry earlier.
The step comes a day after the Delhi Chief Secretary Vijay Dev said in an order to district magistrates and deputy commissioners of police that several permissible activities were not being allowed “by different government authorities as well as RWAs, etc on their own accord”.
Dr Naresh Chandra, secretary of an RWA in East Delhi’s Vasundhara Enclave, said their residential society has allowed entry of electricians, plumbers and air conditioner repair workers. “Regarding house helps, we have decided to defer taking a decision on their entry till May 17, by which time we will see what other societies in the area are planning on doing.”
Most residential societies in Vasundhara Enclave have also imposed restrictions on entry of house helps, Dr Chandra said, and are screening other service staff for symptoms. Elsewhere in East Delhi, around 50 other RWAs in areas such as Jhilmil, Geeta Colony, and Preet Vihar have started allowing the entry of domestic helps and other staff, said BS Vohra, president of the East Delhi RWA.
“We are following the government orders because we as RWAs don’t have any authority over them. But before giving the orders the government should have also checked which areas the house helps and other staff come from, and should have screened or tested them. We are asking everyone who has a smartphone to download the Aarogya Setu app, which has its own security concerns, but it would offer some help,” Vohra said.
In GK-I, RWA member Rajiv Kakaria said that in terms of service staff such as electricians and plumbers, there are four-five workers who are being allowed into the locality. “We know these people for years and can trust them… As for house helps, their entry is restricted,” he said.
In South Delhi, the general secretary of the Federation of RWAs of Vasant Kunj, Bhanu Bishnoi, said they have also permitted the entry of house helps and service staff, but would be writing to the Chief Secretary that they “should have some rights” over their areas.
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