The BMC has issued an attachment notice to Mumbai Metro One Private Limited (MMOPL), which operates the Versova-Andheri Ghatkopar Line,for not paying property taxes worth Rs 300 crore, including penalties.
According to civic sources, Mumbai Metro One has not paid any property tax since 2013 and the notices have been issued by the Andheri east and Andheri west wards for Rs 80 crore and Rs 220 crore, respectively.
There are 24 MMOPL properties in both the wards, 16 of which are in Andheri west. Properties like carsheds,workshops, stabling yards, sheds, heavy cleaning tracks and three Metro stations -- Versova, D N Nagar and Azad Nagar -- fallin the jurisdiction of K west ward.
The MMOPL also possesses two big landparcelsinAndheriwestforwhich property tax has not been submitted. Metro stations like LIC Andheri Metro station, Western Express Highway, JB Nagar, Airport Road, Marol Station and Marol Substation fall in Andheri east ward.
According to K-west ward Assistant Municipal Commissioner Vishwas Mote,who initiated the notice process, “If MMOPL doesn’t pay property taxes within 21 days, we will cut their water and sewage lines. If MMOPL fails to pay property taxes thereafter, then we will start attaching their properties which will later be auctioned to recover the money.”
On being contacted for a comment, MMOPL said in a statement, “Section 520C of Mumbai Municipal Corporation Act, 1888 empowers the Govt of Maharashtra to issue instructions to the MCGM regarding policy to be followed by MCGM in larger public interest.”
The statement said that based on a Bombay High Court order of April 17, 2018, the state government had directed the corporation to provide exemptions to Mumbai Metro Line-1 from payment of local taxes/property tax, since the metro line is a public transportation project and the Metro Act which came into effect on October 16, 2009, is applicable to it. The MCGM local ward offices are yet to comply with the Orders of Govt of Maharashtra, IT said.
Reacting to this, AMC Mote said, “The properties belong to the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) and MMOPL; either of them should pay the taxes. Furthermore, we have approached MMRDA officials who told us that taxes should be paid by the MMOPL, which is not a government body but a private entity.”