The cash-strapped East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC) has issued property tax notices to defaulter government agencies to recover nearly Rs 500 crore from them, a senior EDMC official has said.

Notices have been sent to the Delhi Development Authority (DDA), Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), Delhi Jal Board (DJB) and Northern Railways. EDMC commissioner Dilraj Kaur said, “House tax is a major source of revenue for us. Since raising the tax rate is difficult, we are trying to recover our dues at least.”

According to a municipal official, DDA is one of the main defaulters and owes Rs 378.17 crore. The land-owning agency has not paid property tax for its four sports complexes — Yamuna Sports Complex in Surajmal Vihar, Poorvi Dilli Khel Parisar in Tahirpur, Chilla Sports Complex in Vasundhara Enclave and Commonwealth Games Village Sports Complex near Akshardham Temple. This is besides DDA’s 111 parking sites, offices and wedding grounds.

DDA vice-chairman Tarun Kapoor said, “We have got a similar notice from the North Delhi Municipal Corporation. They are charging us for vacant land. All our land is used for development projects. We are trying to resolve the issue through the housing and urban affairs Ministry.”

The recovery of Rs 500 crore is important for the corporation as there is a deficit of Rs 2,421 crore in its budget for the financial year 2018-19. A senior EDMC official said some of these agencies had not paid outstanding dues since 2004 when the MCD was not even trifurcated.

The urgency to recover the money can be sensed from the notices.

In its notice sent to Delhi Jal Board, East Delhi Municipal Corporation has written, “As EDMC is in a deep financial crisis and not able to pay salaries and arrears to its employees, it is once again requested to release the said amount at the earliest.”

EDMC’s cash liabilities towards its contractors and empanelled hospitals itself is Rs 500 crore and the monthly employees’ salary and pension bill is Rs 170 crore.

Another East Delhi Municipal Corporation official, requesting anonymity said, “We have got the housing and urban affairs ministry to help us out with this. They are trying to settle the tax disputes. Some agencies like Northern Railways say they are governmental and not private and hence must be exempted. But the fact remains they carry out commercial activities like ferrying goods and earn handsomely from that.”

Delhi metro owes the second biggest property tax dues to East Delhi Municipal Corporation at Rs 57.65 crore. This includes 10 stations on the Blue Line (New Ashok Nagar-Anand Vihar) and seven stations on the Red Line (Shastri Park-Dilshad Garden), besides the Shastri Park Metro Yard and an IT Park at the same location.

Delhi Metro Rail Corporation refused to comment, saying the matter is subjudice.

Delhi Jal Board has to pay Rs 54 crore for properties such as the Sonia Vihar water treatment plant, Kondli sewage treatment plant, tube wells in Shahdara and several underground reservoirs in Jagatpuri, Ghazipur, etc.

Northern Railways has only one property for which it owes Rs 2.3 crore in taxes – the 100-acre Anand Vihar Terminal Railway Station. Despite repeated attempts, Northern Railways and DJB officials couldn’t be reached for their comments.

First Published: Feb 12, 2019 14:13 IST

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