Soon, pay fire protection fee to BMC
Sujit Mahamulkarmumbai Updated: Jan 18, 2011 02:25 IST
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) plans to add one more tax to further burden your pockets.
The new tax — the fire protection fee — will be calculated on the basis of the area and the nature of the buildings.
The tax is being proposed under the Maharashtra Fire Prevention and Life Safety Measures Act, 2006, which makes it compulsory for all municipalities to impose new Fire Protection Fee for all types of buildings. The proposal will be tabled before the civic law committee on Thursday.
“Money collected under this tax will bring revenue to the department and will be used to upgrade the 150-year-old system and provide better services,” said SS Shinde, joint municipal commissioner.
The fire safety Act states that private and public premises should adhere to fire safety norms, and if violated the fire brigade can send notices and file cases against them. Till date, more than 48 cases have been filed and around 100 premises served notices.
The proposal lists the cost of fee, maximum is for five-star hotels — Rs150 per sq m of the area on which it stands, and minimum is for ground-plus-two storey buildings — Rs15 per sq m. The BMC’s fire department attends to at least 55 calls every day. Modernisation and reforms have evaded the department due to staff crunch and meagre budget — the budget for 2010-11 was Rs100 crore. “The day the proposal is cleared by the government it will come into retrospective effect from December 2008,” said a senior fire official, requesting anonymity.