AN INDORE Municipal Corporation (IMC) survey has thrown up property tax evasion amounting to crores of rupees by hoteliers, marriage garden owners, schools, colleges and hospitals.
Among the culprits are the Choithram Charitable Hospital Trust, Shri Jain Shwetamber Nama Mandir (Mahavir Bagh), Toran Garden, Ish Kripa and Qeemti marriage gardens as well as two leading hotels, all of who are said to have underreported the size of their landholdings during self-assessment in a bid to skimp on property tax payments.
The survey, carried out at the instance of Accounts Committee Chairman Rajendra Jaiswal, found massive discrepancies between actual and disclosed land holdings with differences ranging from 500 to one lakh sq ft at nearly 300 properties.
Choithram Hospital, for instance, was found to possess 1,20,912 square feet more land than claimed by trustees while filling in self-assessment forms. Umapati Resorts, Scheme No 54, (60,769 sq ft), Toran Garden (36,659), Gyan Park Marriage Garden (21,800), Mangilal Gajjulal Rathore and Hotel Madhuban (Chandu Ka Dhaba) were among other tax dodgers unmasked by the survey.
Even holy men got into the unholy business of tax evasion. Physical verification of the Shri Jain Shwetamber Nama Mandir (Mahavir Bagh) property revealed a difference of 7,784 sq ft in actual and declared built-up area and over 53,000 sq ft in open land.
Talking to Hindustan Times, the Accounts Committee Chairman declared that he, “cried myself hoarse about property tax evasion by big names but
no one listened. Now my stand has been vindicated by the survey.” He urged Mayor Uma Shashi Sharma to “immediately initiate strict action” against the tax dodgers.