Impose heavy tax on vacant land parcel: Activist to Maharashtra Government

Impose heavy property tax on vacant lands particularly needed for infrastructure projects, suggested a Mumbai-based Social Activist and Advocate of Bombay High Court Godfrey Pimenta. He has recently written a letter to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Commissioner and Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray. He said, "The state government should amend Mumbai Municipal Corporation Act, 1888, to levy heavy property tax on vacant lands particularly needed for Infrastructure projects so as to force the owners of such vacant lands to handover lands for Infrastructure projects than paying heavy property tax on vacant lands. This is particularly in view of current controversy in case of Kanjurmarg land required for Metro depot."

Another Activist and petitioner of 'Save Aarey' group Zoru Bhathena is of the opinion that comprising heavy taxes cannot be a solution especially in the case of Kanjurmarg metro land dispute. "Instead, both the state and central government should come together and resolve the issue." Meanwhile, he asserted that the central government was not having an issue when on the same land, a depot of metro 6 was proposed. The problem emerged only when the Metro 3 depot on the same Kanjurmarg land was also proposed.

While Anil Galgali, a well-known Mumbai-based activist also supported Pimenta's suggestion and stated, "It will not only enforce the owners to shell out hefty money through tax but at the same time will also generate revenue for the municipal corporation."

The land tax (property tax) is collected by the said municipal body is utilised for providing essential services where the property is located such as cleanliness, maintenance of roads, transport, drainage, and other civic facilities. The tax received helps the authority to fund all these services and upkeep the area’s infrastructure.

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