At least 70,000 slums in the city will get a breather from the new capital value-based property tax system the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) had planned to introduce in March 2011.
The corporation has said it will not be able to map these slums because it will not use the Geographical Information System (GIS) to map properties in the city.
The Hindustan Times had reported how former additional municipal commissioner AK Singh was against using the GIS to map 1.2 lakh properties in the city, expressing apprehension over private BMC-appointed contractors entering the homes of citizens.
The BMC has no records of these properties and will now be forced to map them manually. “Mapping slum properties could be tricky and time-consuming. Hence, we don’t want to take a chance by initiate the mapping of these 70,000-odd slums.”
The official added that the BMC will aim to map the 40,000-odd flats out of the properties waiting to be mapped.
Under the new property tax system, the BMC will calculate the tax based on the property’s capital value, taking into account factors such as the age of the property and quality of construction.
The BMC, which failed to meet the April 2010 deadline it had set for itself to implement the new tax system, said the April 2011 deadline also seems daunting.
A staff crunch could add to the problem. “We had set a target of mapping every city property by January 2011 so we could start processing bills under the new system,” a BMC official said requesting anonymity because he is not authorised to speak to the media. “However, it’s December already and we haven’t yet decided how to map 1.2 lakh properties. It’s impossible to finish mapping them in a month or two.”
Deputy assessor and collector RB Dalvi could not be contacted for comments on the decision to put off the mapping of slums.
Another senior BMC official, requesting anonymity said: “We are keen to ensure that the March 2011 deadline is met. Hence, no matter what, we’ll have to keep these slums aside for later, and implement the new property tax system by March.”