Bhayandar: Congress-Shiv Sena team-up against steep tax hike by MBMC

Bhayandar: Unruly scenes marked the general body meeting of the Mira Bhayandar Municipal Corporation (MBMC) on Tuesday after opposition parties came together to launch protests against the steep tax hike imposed by the BJP-led governance.

Shouting slogans against the BJP, Shiv Sena corporators resorted to a “Thaali Naad Hallabol” and also sported plastic robes printed with slogans condemning the BJP for their anti-people stand, their Congress counterparts observed a Black Day. On the other hand Maharashtra Nav Nirman Sena activists staged an agitation outside the MBMC building and held signature campaigns to garner support from citizens.

After scaling down figures mooted by the administration, the standing committee had endorsed a 20 percent hike in water charges and 25 to 30 percent hike in property tax, this apart from introducing 5 and 8 percent tax towards sewage and water facility usage respectively and Re 1 per sq. ft. for garbage collection from residents. The hikes which translates into an cumulative increase of nearly 50 percent has also invited sharp criticism from social organizations and local populace. Despite the hue and cry, the BJP after rolling back taxes towards sewage and water facility usage went on to pass the resolution on the virtue of their majority in the house.

Most importantly the BJP further drilled holes into the pockets of the common man by imposing a 3o percent hike instead of the proposed 20 percent. Defending the move Mayor Dimple Mehta said, “To fund developmental projects in the city, the hike was inevitable. As compared to other civic bodies, our taxes are still very low and affordable.”

However the Congress has raised a question mark on the validity of the special general body meet. “The mandatory details supposed to accompany proposals was also elusive.” said Congress corporator Anil Sawant who said that his party had rolled up its sleeves to intensify the agitation and knock the doors of the judiciary against the hike.

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