Centre, state government and its various bodies owe the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) more than Rs236 crore —Rs70.48 crore as water tax and Rs166.39 crore as property tax — as on October 31.
The civic body supplies drinking water to all government offices such as Mantralaya, Central and Western Railway offices, police stations, courts, Mumbai Port Trust (MbPT) and government hospitals.
The civic assessor and collector (A&C) department stated that only Rs15.62 crore has been recovered from the state and Central government in this financial year. Of the amount, Rs31,000 was paid towards water charges, while the rest contributed to the property tax.
“The dues have been outstanding since the last 4-5 years. At times, instead of paying, the authorities adjust the dues against the money the civic body owes them,” said a civic official on condition of anonymity as he is not authorised to speak to the media.
If citizens delay the payment of water charges, the civic body disconnects the supply. For property tax payment delay, the BMC charges a penalty. In case of failure in paying the penalty, the property is attached and auctioned.
Rajiv Chaugule, chairman, civic law committee, said: “It is the duty of the civic body to recover dues from everybody — be it a government agency or private body. The outstanding dues of Rs236 crore could have been used to provide additional infrastructure in the city. The civic administration should take strict action against the authorities that have delayed the payment.”
SR Shendurkar, assessor and collector, said: “We don’t apply routine method to collect dues from government agencies. Apart from normal correspondence, we send reminders and request letters to the agencies. In most cases, it works.”