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Commercial units in north Delhi oppose user charges with retrospective effect

PUBLISHED ON AUG 30, 2020 11:29 PM IST

New Delhi: Commercial establishments under the North Delhi Municipal Corporation’s jurisdiction are opposing the civic body’s decision to charge “user fee” for waste collection retrospectively from January 2018, when the Solid Waste Management Bye laws-2017, were notified by Delhi lieutenant governor Anil Baijal.

On August 21, a delegation of hotel, restaurant and shop owners’ associations raised the issue with North Delhi Mayor Jai Prakash. Their say they shouldn’t be charged retrospectively and the charges should be revised.

Commercial establishment owners say the civic agency can’t charge for a service, which it wasn’t providing in 2018, retrospectively.

The North corporation has started issuing notices to hotels, restaurants and shops to pay user charges from January 2018. As per the law, the charges for commercial establishments vary from Rs 500 to Rs 5,000 per month.

While a shop or coffee or sweet shop has to pay Rs 500 per month as user charges for waste collection, a restaurant with seating capacity up to 50 has to pay Rs 2,000 per month.

Murli Mani, a guesthouse owner in Karol Bagh and president of the Ajmal Khan road traders’ association, said, “Commercial establishments in Karol Bagh area have been served notices to pay anywhere between Rs 15,000 and Rs 60,000 depending on the type of commercial establishment. This is unfair, as the kind of services they are supposed to provide under the new rules were not being provided then.”

The North corporation started sending notices to commercial establishments in August after the lockdown norms were relaxed.

Traders’ association say this new charge will put additional burden on traders, who have already suffered huge loss due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Confederation of All India Traders is planning to take up the issue with the L-G. “Due to the lockdown imposed because of Covid, traders have already suffered huge financial loss. They are still facing financial problems as things are yet to get back to normal. This new charge imposed by the north corporation will only make matters worse for traders. We will raise this issue with the LG,” said Praveen Khandelwal, secretary general of CAIT.

Nursing home owners say they already have to pay for the disposal of medical waste and hired people for solid waste management. Dr Ajay Bedi, honorary secretary of the nursing home forum of Delhi Medical Association, said, “Nursing homes have to pay Rs 2,000 per month. We have been asked to pay since January 2018. When the corporations were not providing the services as per the new rules, then why should we pay in-retrospect?”

North corporation Mayor Jai Prakash said, “The new rules state that the civic bodies have to charge people for solid waste disposal. Currently, we are charging only commercial establishments. We have got several representations against the charges being collected from January 2018. Their concern is genuine. We are trying to work out a way so that these charges can be collected from this financial year.”

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