History of EDRAAC

Ernakulam District Resident’s Association Apex Council (EDRAAC) – Its origin & Development

The residents associations centered on the roads & housing colonies that we see today began to be formed only in the 1990’s. Due to the fast urbanization & migration of a large number of rural populations to towns & cities, people in the urban areas were living like strangers to each other & were leading a life with a sense of isolation. It was as an attempt to bring together such people who live as neighbors to get acquainted with each other & to unite them under a common forum that the so called residents associations were initially formed. But slowly the aim & purpose acquired manifold dimensions.

Today residents associations actively participate in the integrated urban development programs, public hygiene & cleaning activities, efforts for removal of traffic congestions, making available drinking water to every citizen, activities for social upliftment & enhancement of mutual co-operation etc. The need for a united larger & well organized body was felt gradually to achieve better bargaining & effective participation in the statutory bodies. As the first step in this direction, representatives of 22 residents associations assembled in the Kerala Hotel & Restaurant Associations Hall on 12th July, 2003 & decided to form a district level apex council. In this respect, the role played by Sri. Krishnan Kavuvila, who was an office bearer of the apex council of residents associations in Thiruvananthapuram is to be specially mentioned. Under his able guidance an adhoc committee was constituted for the formation of the apex body EDRAAC. Sri. P.C. Cyriac I.A.S. was made the President of the adhoc committee. Later 53 representatives from 43 residents associations held a meeting at St. Albert’s College hall on 22nd August, 2004 under the Presidentship of Sri. Joseph Alexander. An executive committee of 21 members was formed on that day. Subsequently on 10th September 20041, the executive committee met under the Presidentship of Sri. Joseph Alexander & selected the following office bearers of EDRAAC:

President:

Sri. S. Balakrishnan

 

Vice Presidents:
Sri. R. Rangadasa Prabhu

Sri. P. Padmarajan

Adv. Prabha R. Menon

Adv. Mathew Paul

 

General Secretary:
Sri. P.K. Gopalakrishnan

Secretaries:
Sri. T. Radhakrishnan

Sri. A. Ajithkumar

Sri. K.X. Xavier

Sri. Benny Joseph

 

Treasurer:

Sri. Jojo George Palokaran

During the period 2004-06, a considerable number of resident’s associations were formed in the different parts of the city & the membership surged from 53 to 230. On 17th December, 2006 the 3rd Annual General body of EDRAAC was held with a larger participation of members & the meeting was inaugurated by Sri. Krishnan Kavuvila, the State Secretary of residents association in Kerala. The meeting strongly demanded the commencement of city bus service by KSRTC, in Ernakulam. During the meeting a 21 member new executive committee was also formed. Later the EDRAAC also pressurized the authorities for starting the Thiru Kochi bus service, which we see operating in plenty today.

 

In the General body meeting held on 8th July 2008, M/s Chellappan Pillai & Sri. D.G. Suresh was selected unanimously as the auditors of EDRAAC.

 

District office for EDRAAC

The Corporation of Kochi was generous enough to sanction a rent free office room for EDRAAC in the Corporation building at Subash Chandra Bose Road Junction at Ponnurunni. The worshipful Mayor Prof. Mercy Williams inaugurated the office & Dy. Mayor Sri. C.K. Manisanker handed over the keys to EDRAAC Secretary, Sri. Reghu Prasad. This gesture of the Corporation was a great recognition for EDRAAC.

 

Area Committees

On 1st March 2009, a special General body of EDRAAC was held at E.M.S. Memorial Town Hall & a formal approval for the by-law amendments for the formation of area committees was accorded. The maximum number of member associations in an area committee was initially decided as 40. But today there are several area committees having more than 50 member associations & the required by-law amendments have been made subsequently.

 

 By 2009, the membership of resident associations under EDRAAC rose from 230to 511 which shows the popularity of residents associations & the role played by them in augmenting the civic amenities. Consequent to the by-law, amendments made in the special general body held in March 2009 conventions were held in the different areas & requisite numbers of committee members were selected to the district committee. On 3rd May 2009, the Annual General body of EDRAAC was held at the Yesoram Kalyana Mandapam Hall & a new 21 member executive committee of EDRAAC was formed. The newly formed executive committee met on 5th May & a new team of office bearers was selected under Sri. P. Rangadasa Prabhu, the President. In Jan 2011, Sri. P.K. Gopalakrishnan resigned from the General Secretaryship due to personal reasons & subsequently Sri. A. Ajithkumar was selected as the new General Secretary.

 

Since the activities undertaken & the role played by the residents association through EDRAAC have been appreciated very much by the district administration, local bodies & various developmental agencies, the EDRAAC has been voluntarily joining hands with the authorities wherever people’s co-operation is required.

 

District Administration & Resident’s Associations for Timely Solutions (DARTS)

The DARTS is a forum jointly constituted by the District Administration & EDRAAC in Jan 2009. The purpose of this forum is to take up the various complaints & grievances of the residents relating to different departments under the district administration & find a solution to the problems faced by the people by mutual discussions between the representatives of residents associations & the departmental authorities concerned.

 

Police & Residents Associations Initiative in District of Ernakulam (PRIDE)

The First joint meeting between the police officials & the representatives of residents association was held in July 2004 under the Presidentship of Sri. Joseph Alexander at Hotel Chicago Plaza. The meeting was inaugurated by Smt. R. Sreelekha I.P.S., D.I.G. it was decided to start a Crime Alert Programme (CAP) which was proposed to be held on every 2nd Saturday in which Senior Police officers from the City Police Commissioner to the Circle Inspector would meet the representative of the residents association for inviting attention to the public complaints & ensuring quick solutions. Several awareness classes were conducted for the benefit of the public. On 21st Oct 2006, a large convention was held at Town Hall, Ernakulam under the auspices of PRIDE, which was inaugurated by the then Home Minister Sri. Kodiyery Balakrishnan. The Hon. Minister declared that efforts would be taken to start forums like PRIDE under all district headquarters & municipal towns. It is to be remembered that the formation of the Janamythri Police Stations was an offshoot of the joint programmes of the Police & the residents associations.

 

The residents associations constituted for small local needs & with a low vision in certain selected localities have grown into larger popular orgainsations working under the central leadership of EDRAAC in Ernakulam enlisting more than 800 residents associations & 25 area committees. EDRAAC has been transformed into a vibrant popular force through the relentless efforts of several democratically selected people working irrespective of caste, religion or politics. The role played by EDRAAC in several milestones of development in Ernakulam like Vytilla Mobility Hub, Metro Rail & Over Bridge at Edappally will be remembered for years.

 



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