NMC clips wings of Cyber Tech, imposes heavy fine for faulty survey of properties

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 31 Dec 2017 09:49:41


Special Correspondent,

Buckling under heavy pressure of the Opposition parties and property owners, ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) announced to impose a heavy fine on Cyber Tech Company for faulty survey of properties. The civic body will also levy fine to the tune of Rs 10,000/- for delay in completion of the survey project. This was decided after a marathon discussion of six hours in the special general body meeting of NMC held on Saturday. Mayor Nanda Jichkar chaired the special general body meeting organised to discuss property tax issue. The civic body rejected the demand of the Opposition benches for scrapping of the tender of Cyber Tech.

Municipal Commissioner Ashwin Mudgal assured 50 per cent deduction from the payment due to the company, for faulty survey of properties. He also assured that the civic body would increase the amount of fine from Rs 500/- to Rs 10,000/- per day for delay in completion of the survey. So far, NMC has paid Rs 97 lakh to the company as against the total bill of Rs 5.50 crore under B section of the agreement. The bill of Rs 4.80 crore is still pending with NMC. The civic body has paid 80 per cent of the total amount of Rs 6.75 crore to Cyber Tech for providing software and other equipment.

Mudgal appreciated GIS-based property tax system in the city, and said that the other municipal corporations/councils were coming forward to adopt the system. State Government also appreciated the property tax system, he added. He said, the standard deduction will be increased from present 10 per cent to 20 per cent from buit-up area. He also suspended Tax Inspector Sachin Meshram of Hanuman Nagar Zone for misappropriation of tax demands.
Ruling Party Leader Sandip Joshi said that NMC should slap a heavy fine on Cyber Tech. NMC should levy a fine of Rs 10,000/- per day for delay in completion of the survey of properties. He said, the local body should deduct 50 per cent amount from the bill due to the company, for faulty survey of properties. NMC should take stern action against it, he demanded.

Leader of Opposition Tanaji Vanve demanded scrapping of contract with Cyber Tech due to faulty survey. He alleged that the inflated property tax demands showed that the company team did not visit any household. “They have collected the details without any proper survey,” he alleged. Former Mayor Pravin Datke, former Ruling Party Leader Dayashankar Tiwari, Yashshri Nandanwar and Dinesh Yadav also expressed their views. Shiv Sena leader Kishor Kumeria demanded NMC to act against the company.

Sanjay Mahakalkar demanded scrapping of the contract. Adv Nishant Gandhi demanded scrapping of three times tax on rented properties. It will provide a great relief to old property owners dependent on income from rented properties, curb corruption, and make the system more transparent, he added. Sanjay Bangale appreciated the decision of high-powered committee and sought removal of discrepancies in the survey. Harshala Sable, Jitendra Ghodeswar, Neha Nikose, Nitin Sathwane, Kishor Jichkar also demanded scrapping of contract. Balya Borkar highlighted faulty survey by the company. Chetna Tank urged NMC to conduct drive in slum areas to make people aware of property tax survey and latest decisions. Prakash Bhoyar rejected the claim that several people were affected by faulty survey of properties. Pintu Zalke suggested to NMC to prepare a mobile phone application for property tax users.

Abha Pande warns of massive agitation

Senior corporator Abha Pande, in her fiery speech, exposed faulty survey of properties done by Cyber Tech Company. She accused the company of not completing the given task as per the agreement. The company did not collect telephone number, e-mail ID, solar water heater, rainwater harvesting information, and did not mention road details, lane details for identification of the property concerned. She said, NMC has paid Rs 6.75 crore to the company for procurement of the software and Rs 7.20 crore for survey. She gave example of two households where the property owners received demand of Rs 16,000/- as against previous demand of only Rs 600/-. There is no penalty clause against Cyber Tech for faulty survey of properties, she said. She threatened to launch a massive agitation against NMC for taking common people for a ride. She demanded fresh survey of properties and also lodging of FIR against the company.

Joshi asks Shelke to clear electricity dues

Ruling Party Leader Sandip Joshi and Youth Congress President and corporator Bunty Shelke were at loggerheads during the general body meeting of NMC over property tax demands. Shelke interrupted the speech of Prakash Bhoyar and started his own speech. Sandip Joshi raised point of information over his speech. Still, Shelke did not stop. Mayor Nanda Jichkar also warned him to give an opportunity to Joshi but Shelke did not stop. Then, Joshi made a sarcastic comment, “Bunty Shelke should not teach us. First, he should clear the dues of MSEDCL as he was using electricity without payment.”

Asstt Commrs responsible for the mess: Datke

Former Mayor Pravin Datke alleged that Assistant Commissioners of various zones did not know how to handle computers and they also were responsible for the mess in conduct of property tax survey. Assistant Commissioners did not exercise powers to cross-check the findings of the survey conducted by Cyber Tech, he alleged. However, he remarked, they want hike in salary every year without doing any work. He suggested the officers to pay attention towards Property Tax Department instead of signing files of Public Works Department. “Property tax could be reduced by using password of Assistant Commissioners Ashok Patil and Harish Raut,” he remarked sarcastically.

Decision of high-powered panel is wrong: Sahare

Senior Congress corporator Sandeep Sahare also exposed discrepancies in survey of properties done by Cyber Tech. He also objected to the decision of high-powered committee to give relief to rented properties, removing penalty clause etc. He said, it was the jurisdiction of NMC general body to take such a decision. The civic body had paid Rs 7.20 crore to the company for wrong measurement of households, he alleged. “The definition of the unit also was changed to give benefit to the company. The survey team showed bogus rented house to increase their earnings,” he further alleged. The company was blacklisted in Amravati Municipal Corporation, he said.