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Water tax hike is likely

THE INDORE Municipal Corporation (IMC) budget for 2007 is likely to hover between Rs 750-800 crore, almost double the budgeted amount for the previous fiscal.

india Updated: Apr 20, 2006 13:05 IST

THE INDORE Municipal Corporation (IMC) budget for 2007 is likely to hover between Rs 750-800 crore, almost double the budgeted amount for the previous fiscal.

The Mayor-in-Council (MiC) cleared the final budgetary draft amounting to Rs 726 crore at a meeting at the Narmada Project office at Moosakhedi today. The draft will now be tabled before the 69-member IMC General Council for approval, where a few likely additions may swell the figure to around Rs 800 crore.

The ten-member mayoral council has directed Secretary J C Galar to finalise the date for the budget meeting after consultations with IMC Chairman Shankar Lalwani. As promised by Mayor Dr Uma Shashi Sharma, no new taxes have been proposed in the draft.

The document, instead, suggests measures like hiking property tax on residences and shops built along Bond Roads to boost revenue collection. There is a chance that the water tax tariff may be hiked after the budget is cleared by the general council - a possibility hotly contested by MiC member in-charge of Waterworks Munnalal Yadav.

The MiC is also learnt to have given the green signal to the proposal to construct a Sabzi Mandi at Nandlalpura. Estimated to cost between Rs 1.5-2 crore, the project will be carried out on a build-operate-transfer (B-O-T) basis according to Public Works department officials.

The mayoral council also cleared the construction of a multi-storey parking lot at Bajajkhana Chowk, also on BOT basis. Tenders for both the projects will be invited as soon as the General Council gives the nod to the project.

According to Revenue Department sources BSF to Bhandari Mill crossing, Manikbag Overbridge to Sapna-Sangeeta Road, Mhow Naka to Phuti Kothi and Maharani Laxmibai statue (SAF) to Baneshwar Kund are among routes on which property taxes are likely to be hiked.

IMC Accounts Department officials said the slush of funds from JNNURM, ADB and HUDCO had swelled the budget to around Rs 800 crore, up from Rs 406 crore for previous fiscal.

The Corporation has already received Rs 30 crore from HUDCO for the Bond Road project and it now has to generate the remaining Rs 15 crore for completing the project.

The IMC will also incur some hefty liabilities as a result of the loans.
For instance, the civic body will have to shell out Rs 3 crore every quarter to HUDCO and Rs 3.5 crore towards electricity costs of supplying Narmada water.

These will be in addition to instalments for the Yeshwant Sagar project and garden beautification proposal, both of which have been cleared by JNNURM.

The IMC currently owes Rs 40 crore in unpaid bills to contractors.