As a first step, an agency will be asked to submit a report

After keeping in hibernation for long the proposal to levy license fee for mobile phone towers, the corporation has initiated moves to revive the proposal so as to increase the civic body’s revenue.

Corporation had first proposed to levy a charge for the towers in its 2010-11 budget.

The idea then too was to boost revenue. The civic body took the next step by tabling a resolution for the council’s approval in September 2011.

The resolution said that the civic body planned to levy a half-yearly, uniform property tax of Rs. 15,000 for all structures that housed a mobile phone tower. And for vacant lands. The corporation would raise a separate demand for such property tax and remove the same and revert to the old structure as and when property or land owners confirm in writing that towers had been removed.

The move would not only bring in more money but would also regulate the erection of the towers.

Referring to an earlier recommendation of the Finance and Taxation Committee, the resolution suggested that the Corporation bring mobile phone towers under the ambit of the Dangerous and Offensive Trade to levy an annual fee of Rs. 30,000, grant license to erect mobile phone towers only after ensuring stability of buildings, and collect property tax on commercial rate from the owners of those premises where the towers had been erected.

The council passed the resolution but nothing much happened thereafter.

Sources said that the corporation will now engage an agency to study the number of mobile phone towers in the city.

It planned to engage the telecom companies to fix an agreeable Dangerous and Offensive Trade license fee. And planned to collect a higher property tax for structures and lands housing the towers.

The sources said that the corporation’s estimate was that there would be around 1,000 — 1,500 mobile phone towers in the city.

The other approach would be to arrive at tax by considering mobile phone towers as structures like buildings and levy tax on square foot basis.

The sources added that the things were at a preliminary stage and the proposal would take a final shape in the next few days.

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