Cantonment Board to follow different slab rates

Citizens living in the Secunderabad Cantonment Board (SCB) should brace up for higher property tax in the coming months. The Board at its meeting held on Wednesday has decided to revise the tax rates ‘on par’ with the neighbouring GHMC.

The property tax assessment was last done in 1990s and since then there has been no revision. An effort was made in 2007-08 by the authorities, but they had to shelve the plans following stiff resistance from the residents as well as the elected board members, said SCB CEO Sujatha Gupta.

The revised property tax rates would be in tune with GHMC’s different slab rates: for slums – 40 paisa per square foot, other than slums – 60 paisa per square feet and developed areas - 90 paisa per square feet. The new rates would be applied after the board members approve the proposal in the next board meeting, she said.

The board has also revised the conditions for building plan approval in a bid to control unauthorised constructions.

The building plan will now be approved in a phased manner – plinth level construction approval first and another after rest of the construction is done.

In a bid to expedite regularisation of illegal water connections, authorities have also relaxed the norms and house owners have been asked to submit the property tax receipt and pay Rs.15,000 as the regularisation fee. Submission of sale deed copy, a no objection certificate from the respective society and copy of building plan, and so on has been dispensed with.

The National Informatics Centre (NIC) is to be approached for conducting an area survey of the cantonment since the Survey of India had demanded nearly Rs. 90 lakh for the job, informed the CEO.

CBI cases

Ms. Gupta also stated that the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has sought permission to prosecute all the five engineers in connection with different cases pertaining to unauthorised constructions. The CBI had registered cases against former CEO C. Ravindra, five engineering officials, two builders and other unknown persons in April 2011. Searches were also conducted at a few board members’ houses and the SCB office.

A three-member committee headed by the CEO and consisting of vice-president S. Keshava Reddy and member V. Jai Prakash is to look into the matter and report in the next board meeting to be held shortly.

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