In a major violation of rules, the municipal corporation of Chandigarh is charging property tax of Rs 5,000 per booth every year from 116 booths with illegal basements in the motor market-cum- commercial complex in Manimajra. Instead of taking action against building violators, the MC has collected property tax to tune of nearly Rs 50 lakh since 2004.
As per the information obtained under the RTI Act, basements have been illegally constructed in all 116 booths and even the booth owners are paying the property tax.
The owners have constructed the basements in violation of conditions laid down in the allotment letters and against the provision laid down in Punjab (development and regulation) Act 1952 and in contravention of building bylaws.
Speaking to HT, Sudhir Narang, Sub divisional Engineer (Buildings and Enforcement), MC admitted that all these basements are illegal. We are issuing them resumption notices and imposing a heavy penalty even to tune of Rs 4 to 5 lakhs. As far the collection of property tax is concerned, estate branch has nothing to do with it, he said.
On other hand, a senior official of tax branch, MC said, "It is duty of the estate branch to check the violations and tax branch has nothing to do with it. Our duty is collect the tax and we are doing it," he said.
Davesh Moudgil BJP councillor, "It is very unfortunate on the part of the officials, who are passing the buck. Despite of MC receiving several complaints regarding building violations, MC is not doing any thing. These basements are constructed nearly 8 years back and interesting part is MC has failed to check the violations," he said.
In accordance with the provisions contained in Chandigarh Municipal Corporation (Tax on Commercial, Industrial, Institutional Land and Building) Bye Laws 2003, the Municipal Corporation imposes property tax on Commercial property.
To determine the amount due and its subsequent recovery, the demand and Collection Register and Assessment list were to be maintained showing the demand (Tax) from the assesses, Interest, Penalties and TaxDeposited by assesses, rebates, excess recoveries etc. by the Tax Branch of Municipal Corporation, Chandigarh.