The state government's decision of Property Tax exemption to houses less than 500 sq.ft is not benefiting the residents staying in Gaothans, Koliwadas and Adivasi Padas due to a bigger size of houses, said Godfrey Pimenta, member of Bombay East Indian Association (BEIA).
He explained: "The property tax waiver benefit should be as per the economic criteria. People staying in Gaothans, Koliwadas and Adivasi Padas are mainly from the lower-middle class income group. For instance, a flat owner of Malabar hill having 500 sq. ft of a house is availing the complete property tax waiver benefit but not the resident of Goathan or Koliwada. As most of our houses are more than 500 Square feet. Several residents have houses also of 1,000 to 2,000 sq. ft, therefore we should be given complete property tax waiver irrespective of the size of houses."
A representation for the same was made by the Bombay East Indian Association to the state government in December 2019. However, the matter was sent to the Urban Development Department and then to the Brihanmunbai Municipal Corporation (BMC). Pimenta informed, "After nine months now, BMC has replied to us saying that they are not the competent authority to declare complete Property Tax waiver to Goathans, Koliwada and Adivasi Pada. Since it is a policy, only state government can help by doing some amendments in the said act." He further asserted that if the state has to ultimately take the decision why is it delaying?
In Mumbai, there are a total of 189 Gaothans, 38 Koliwada and about 100 Adivasi Padas.