Residents from merged areas protest against Pune civic body over high property tax

March 13, 2024

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PUNE: A group of residents from some of the 34 areas merged with the PMC took out a rally on Tuesday protesting the “high” property tax levied on them by the civic body.

Residents of Uttamnagar, Shivane, Kondhwe and Kopre villages participated in the rally that converged at Shivane ward office. “The tax charged from residents is more than what we paid when we were under the grampanchyat. This tax should be scrapped,” said Suresh Gujar, a resident of Shivane, who coordinated the rally. The participants said that the civic body was not providing any facility as far as road and other related infrastructure was concerned. These areas were facing water crises forcing them to depend on tankers. The connecting water pipelines have not been completed yet.

Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) officials said that they need to recover Rs 1246 crore from 34 merged areas as property tax. The civic administration had organised a drive to seal properties of defaulters. But it was stopped following a meeting with Pune guardian minister Ajit Pawar. The residents have demanded a discount on the tax levied. According to PMC data, the merged areas have around 4.25 lakh properties of which 3.75 lakh have been included under the tax ambit. The administration needs to recover around Rs 985 crore from 11 merged areas, and around Rs 261 crore from 23 villages.

According to PMC officials, the civic administration needs to collect property tax from these areas to fund development works. The PMC had sought financial aid of around Rs 2500 crore for 11 areas and around Rs 4500 for 23 areas. “The development of these areas will be promoted in days to come. The PMC has made provision of Rs 500 crore in the municipal budget for 2024-25,” said Vikram Kumar, PMC commissioner.

“The administration is spending funds from its coffers for development works in the merged areas. This may put pressure on the financial health of the administration. So, recovery of tax from these areas is a must,” said a senior PMC official.

Eleven areas, including Uruli-Phursungi, were merged with PMC in 2017. The proposal to merge 34 villages was approved by PMC in 2013-14. But merger did not take place. A citizens’ group had approached the Bombay High Court. After the court’s directives, PMC had merged 11 villages in the first phase. These included 9 villages partly and 2 villages – Uruli and Phursungi – fully. The merger of remaining 23 villages was completed in 2022.

A group of residents from Uruli Phursungi had demanded that their areas be demerged from PMC as they were not getting facilities even after paying tax. These citizens met chief minister Eknath Shinde and submitted a memorandum. The state govt had declared in Dec 2022 that these two areas would be demerged. A notification was issued to this effect in March 2023. These two areas will have a municipal council. But the process for the same is yet to be completed.

  • Published On Mar 13, 2024 at 02:00 PM IST

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