Thiruvananthapuram corporation to ease tax burden for illegal houses below 120 sqm
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: In an unprecedented move, the city corporation has decided to tag residential constructions with variations from permissible norms below 120 sqm as unauthorised and levy normal tax from such constructions which are pending clearance from regional town planner and Kerala coastal zone management authority.
The files related to these constructions had come up in the recently concluded adalats which were organised in main office and zonal offices. The officials had reported that some of the applications could not be granted building numbers legally owing to slight variations from permissible norms and such files were considered in the adalat. The corporation council has now decided to give such constructions U/A number and collect normal tax.
The usual procedure has been to issue temporary numbers to unauthorised constructions and levy three times the actual tax annually. The corporation officials said that such an exception is being made for constructions under residential category below 120sq.m since the beneficiaries will not be able to bear the huge tax burden.
“Many of the applications which came up in the adalat came within the 60 sqm category. Those were small dwellings and to levy three times the tax did not seem fair. That is why we have decided to allot U/A numbers at normal tax rates,” said a corporation official. Mayor Arya Rajendran said the files will be forwarded to the state government for special sanction.
“Legally corporations cannot grant such tax relaxations, however, some of these buildings were built either as part of housing schemes or come under buildings with small dimensions. Although there are violations, it cannot be regarded as of serious nature. In order to alleviate the tax penalty for such constructions and to help such beneficiaries with proper building numbers, we will get special sanction from the government,” said the mayor.
The council meeting held recently approved the agenda although a discussion could not be held on this owing to the tension that prevailed in the council.
The city corporation is compiling building permit applications for residential constructions below 120 sqm which are pending clearance or no objection certificate from other government bodies. The applications which were received at the town planning adalat are being processed this way.
The civic body will process such applications in respective zonal offices following the adalat. Awareness for submitting applications will be created among the applicants. A nodal officer will also be deputed for the initiative.
The mayor had said that heads of standing committees, officials with the engineering section will directly supervise processing of such files.