Delhi RWAs organise themselves formally under URJA
July 2005: People's Action was invited by RWA groups and residents of Delhi to plan an intervention in the impending power tariff hike in the face of poor power sector reforms in the city after privatization. a state-wide campaign was undertaken to take the issue to the people. The first ever All-Delhi RWA Convention held on 16th July secured a mandate to mobilize people of Delhi to refuse to pay the 10% hike that was being imposed on residents of Delhi by the State Government. Paving the way for creation of United Residents Joint Action [URJA]
August 2005: After over 100 public meetings across Delhi and involving close to 250 Resident Welfare Associations across Delhi over two months of gruelling campaigning and mobilization, People's Action recorded a stunning victory for people power and the civil society movement when the Government bowing to the pressure created by the group finally withdrew the power tariff hike on 31st August 2005.
September 2005: Riding on the success of the Power Tariff campaign and with a view to set up a permanent structure that strengthens civil society to take up other such issues, People's Action institutes United RWAs Joint Action [URJA] as a consortium of over 500 RWAs across Delhi at a packed second RWA Convention. A structure for the new entity envisages seven zonal chiefs and a cascading committee of representative members in a horizontal format that involves all RWAs of Delhi.
October 2005: URJA takes up the issue of fast running meters and demands an investigation to establish the truth. A new Satyagraha campaign is launched and a mobilization campaign launched to put pressure on government to examine the conditions under which a private DISCOM supplied these meters. Thanks to the din we created, opposition parties in Delhi took up the issue and built up steam on it.
January 2006: People's Action scores when its President is selected among the people who have impacted Delhi in 2005 through their leadership and activism by mainline media house Times of India. Sanjay Kaul is credited with bringing the normally somnolent middle class on to the roads to protest and for federating the Resident Welfare Associations into a powerful lobby for the first time.
February 2006: In Delhi, People's Action & URJA intervened in the chaos created by the Supreme Court's sudden orders on the growing commercialization of residential colonies and illegal constructions. The spate of sealing and demolitions that followed was given a ‘Traders versus RWAs' twist by media and some politically affiliated groups. People's Action argued for the principle of self-discipline as a means of solving the crisis asking all those who had transgressed the law to self-correct and offering a time bound plan to allow traders to re-establish themselves in pre-determined areas.
March 2006: Concerned with the uproar over sealing in Delhi URJA & the Confederation of All India Traders [CAIT], collectively tried to emphasise that all traders in Delhi were members of RWAs themselves and sought to bring the two sides closer in an attempt to find solution that served everyone's purpose.
July 2006: With active URJA support People's Action initiates the formation of an NGO collective that works on common issues of governance. New Delhi People's Association [NDPA] was formed with close to 30 members who are among the most prominent advocacy and civil society groups in Delhi . This group meets every month to debate current issues of concern to residents.
September 2006: URJA organizes the first independent Bijli Adalat to record meter related complaints of residents in Delhi. The fist, inaugural Adalat is organized at JantarMantar in the heart of New Delhi with a Retired Judge in attendance to receive all meter related complaints. Two other such Adalats follow in East and West Delhi. This action becomes the foundation for a series of legal actions against the State Government and private power companies.
October 2006: URJA pilots a joint-appeal by RWA groups and members of the CAIT to the Chief Justice of India seeking relief for the residents of Delhi. The appeal is followed by an immediate reprieve from sealing and demolitions by the Court until further hearings.
November 2006: Leading from the crisis caused by the SC order and the state of the city, URJA &People's Action initiates efforts to bring together NGOs and civil society groups under one banner to work on issues of common interest like urban planning, civic improvements and development of the city.
December 2006: URJA & People's Action launches New Delhi People's Alliance [NDPA] with close to 30 active NGO and advocacy groups of Delhi as members of this body. It includes gender groups, resident associations, consumer rights groups, and various trade and community bodies. NDPA launched officially on 21 st December 2006.