While the civic body plans to go ahead with its plans of imposing a fire protection fee on all buildings within city limits, it may be watered down from what was originally proposed.
The civic law committee on Saturday referred the proposal back to the civic administration and instructed the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to come back with revised rates.
Fearing a backlash after a hike in water tariff and BEST fares, the ruling Shiv Sena-Bharatiya Janata party (BJP) combine has decided to ask the administration to lower the rates.
Raju Pednekar, chairman of the committee, said, “We are not opposed to them imposing the fee. However, we have asked them to ensure that residential properties don’t face an additional burden.”
Although Pednekar refused to specify the exact rates, he said the civic body could recover its revenue from commercial establishments, rather than burdening residential properties. “We have taken special objection to the plans of taxing SRA buildings, rehabilitation colonies and housing project-affected persons,” he said.
The fee has been proposed under the Maharashtra Fire Prevention & Life Safety Measures Act, 2006.
Dnyanmurti Sharma, BJP corporator and member of the law committee, said, “This fee is necessary as it will ensure expenditure on improving the efficiency of fire services.”