Coming down heavily on power distribution companies in the city, the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) has asked them to pay all pending property tax and service charges. If they fail to comply with the order, the MCD will initiate legal action against them.
According to the MCD, North Delhi Power Limited (NDPL) that provides electricity to north Delhi is the major defaulter. It owes nearly R13 crore to the civic agency as property tax. The NDPL has close to 600-700 properties in the city that are on MCD land. And the discom has not paid its taxes since 2002.
BSES, which provides power to central and south Delhi, owes Rs 5 crore as property tax. It has 1,200-1,500 properties which include sub-stations and other buildings.
The company has been defaulting on paying the tax since two years.
The MCD claims that in a meeting called by the then Delhi chief secretary Rakesh Mehta, it had been decided that as these discoms come under the Delhi government's purview, they are not liable to pay property tax. However, they will have to pay service charges to the MCD.
Service charges are collected by the civic agency for providing services like street lighting maintenance, road maintenance and garbage collection among others.
The civic agency now wants the discoms to pay property tax for the period prior to January 2010 and services charges after that.
"We have served them notices under section 123D of the Delhi Municipal Act. We want them to pay property tax for the period before the decision was taken. They have been defaulting for many years and finally we have sent them notices," said a senior MCD official.
An NDPL spokesperson, on the other hand, claimed, "The matter is already in court and we are awaiting the judgement."
The MCD has written a letter to chief secretary PK Tripathi, asking him to resolve the matter soon. "Also, we want cut-off dates to be fixed for the collection of property tax and service charges respectively," the official said.