You know it is not your run-of-the-mill residential society when all it took was the name of a street and a quick query around Worli to find Poonam Co-operative Housing Society. It has, over the span of 40 years, built a reputation of being a secure and prominent feature on the Worli seaface.
“We have 273 apartments that are fully occupied with around 1,200 residents. The flats can only be bought and not rented,” explains Anand Gomes, chairperson of Poonam CHS.
When we quiz him on the five main highlights of the society he has been chairing for eight years now, Gomes says, “There are so many. The location of the building, along with the seaview, has definitely been a main part of its allure. Add to that the fact that we are known to be secure, very green and clean, along with the fact that our families always have been very closely knit.” Most of the apartments here have been passed on from one generation to the next. “Many of us were born here and intend to have our future generations live here as well,” Gomes explains.
Of course, you know what they say–with the yin comes the yang, with the good comes the bad; with an overpopulated city like Mumbai come car parking issues, with the sea come seepage problems. Gomes explains that given their proximity to the sea and their elevation, they have, over the last 40 years, experienced setbacks in terms of water supply and seepage. From having water supply for only two to four hours a day they now have it for eight to ten hours–Gomes credits this positive change to the hard work of the nine-member committee. “We finally managed to get an auxiliary tank below the building and we have in fact just sent out letters to all the members informing them of this,” adds Gomes.
The committee goes all out to make things run smoothly within Poonam Apartments. “We decided to corporatise matters by having each member undertake a responsibility within the committee,” finishes Gomes. Gomes believes that the younger crowd should be integrated into the committee to add different perspectives to the issues that the society faces.
The sense of duty towards the society is palpable. Gomes concludes, “The idea was simple; we just wanted to make the apartments to be worth so much more over time by fixing all the glitches!”