The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) now wants to impose the proposed capital value-based property tax system on every slum dwelling in the city, both legal and illegal.
It has written to the state housing department around a month ago, seeking its opinion on the proposal, and asked for ways in which it can be implemented. The civic body has, however, made it clear that this tax will not grant any slum-dweller legal status.
Provisional data from the 2011 census reveals that almost 52.5 per cent of the city’s population lives in slums. The BMC plans to impose this tax with retrospective effect, from April 1, 2010.
Activists working with slum communities have termed the proposal unfair, saying civic services are practically non-existent in slums. Civic officials, however, say that Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) guidelines make it mandatory for every city to have 100 per cent property tax collection.
Currently, the state and the civic body collect service charges of Rs100 for every hutment up to 225 square feet. State housing secretary Gautam Chatterjee, when contacted, said, “I am ill and cannot talk to you.”