NEW DELHI: Days after proposing a hefty annual way-leave charge of Rs 75,000 per square metre for public service providers, the North Delhi Municipal Corporation has decided to revise the charges to Rs 550 per square metre (one-time) approximately.
The decision comes after the corporation received flak from the Centre and public service providers. The agencies had termed the charges as ‘exorbitant’ and said that it would increase the cost of public works exponentially.
Facing the worst financial crisis since trifurcation, the municipal corporations had decided to charge land usage fees or wayleave charges from various public service providers, including telecom companies, gas agencies, discoms, water and sewer agency for using public land under corporations’ jurisdiction.
Senior leaders said the move came after it was found that the current charge skyrocketed the expenditure cost of public works.
“Several companies approached us, claiming that while they were ready to pay us the wayleave charges, the current rate was not feasible,” said Mohan Bhardwaj, member, standing committee, North Delhi Municipal Corporation.
Officials said the current wayleave charge of Rs 75,000 per square metre increased the expenditure cost on public work by over 500%.
“For instance, for a public work that would have otherwise incurred a total expenditure of Rs 5 lakh for completion would cost Rs 25 lakh,” said a senior municipal official.
Before implementing the policy, the corporation had said the move would not only help keep a check on the continuous digging on the roads, it would also improve the financial condition of the corporations.
Senior officials in the corporation said that service providers would be charged on the basis of the value of land where they are laying wires, pipes or poles.
“Irrespective of whether the agencies are laying wires underground or overhead, they will have to pay the usage/ way-leave charges,” former Mayor Ravinder Gupta had said.
However, now the corporation says apart from revising the charges, it also plans to take action against those who misled the civic body.