Panvel Municipal Corporation Corporator and Chairperson of Kharghar Forum Leena Garad organised Press Conference to inform about the Petition filed against the Panvel Municipal Corporation.

Why isn’t justice and relief given to 2.5 lakh property owners in CIDCO Colony areas, which is already extended to 29 villages

Panvel Municipal Corporation authorities has failed to come up to the development expectations of the residents. About 25 different services and development activities are being provided through CIDCO in CIDCO Colony Area. Two and a half lakh property owners pay service charges to CIDCO for these services and development activities. CIDCO bills have also been received this year.

80 per cent citizens of the corporation i.e. the nearly two and a half lakh property owners are living in the CIDCO Colony area and ever since the establishment of the corporation, no development has been done in this area by the Panvel Municipal Corporation. Despite this, unjustified property tax has been levied by Panvel Municipal Corporation retrospectively w.e.f 1st October 2016.

There are many administrative errors in the property tax system. This issue has been repeatedly brought to the notice of the authorities and the administration. A written statement is given and a legal notice has also been sent. Awareness has been created amongst the residents, by holding meetings and rallies. Yet the authorities and the administration did not wake up. Therefore, while pursuing the matter with the State Government, a writ petition has also been filed in the High Court by Kharghar Forum, against the retrospective and double tax levied by the PMC. We are sure that two and a half lakh property owners in CIDCO Colony area will get justice from the Hon’ble Court.

Also, under section 129A of the Maharashtra Municipal Corporation Act, for 29 gram panchayats, the property tax structure is as follows:
1. NO PROPERTY TAX from 1st Oct. 2016 to 31st March 2018
2. 20% tax on 2018-19
3. 40% tax on 2019-20
4. 60% tax on 2020-21
5. 80% tax on 2021-22 and
6. 100% tax from 1st April 2022
The above concession, which has been given to the property owners of 29 villages, Why the property owners in CIDCO Colony areas of Kharghar, Kamotha, Kalamboli, Khanda Colony, Navin Panvel, Taloja are not given the same benefit, even though these were also then in the Gram Panchayat and Zilla Parishad?

*Why were the local villagers given one justice and the property owners in CIDCO Colony another? Why such discrimination?*

Twenty five different services/development activites are provided through CIDCO and service charges are recovered. The Panvel Municipal Corporation has levied 12% property tax for these services. Under Section 130 and Section 131 of the Maharashtra Municipal Corporation Act, *the Corporation has the right to levy property tax only if such services are provided*.

Also, as per Section 99 of the Municipal Corporation Act, a resolution on property tax must be passed every year on or before 20th February and this is known to the administration. However, no such resolutions have been passed in 2016, 2017, 2018 (excluding 2019) as well as in 2020, 2021. The Municipal Commissioner has also agreed in writing in Resolution No. 118 dated 17 January 2019 that this matter is a serious mistake. Then, why was the property tax imposed on two and a half lakh property owners with retrospective effect?

So, a petition has been filed in the High Court on the basis of these and other sections.

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