Special squads inspect buildings in two areas

Property tax evasion was detected in 159 cases when buildings located in two segments of city roads were inspected.

Two special squads formed by the Kochi Corporation inspected the MG Road-Cochin Shipyard segment and Edapally bypass area, C.A. Thajudeen, Revenue Officer of the corporation informed the Corporation Council meeting on Wednesday.

The details regarding the tax evasion were revealed when Deputy Mayor B. Bhadra, who chaired the session, directed the official to share with the council the details of evasions. It is estimated that the defaulters owe the corporation around Rs. 5 crore as building tax from these cases. Notices were issued to the defaulters in these cases. Some of the tax defaulters have paid Rs. 50 lakh following the issue of the notice, he said.

According to the list that was presented in the council, a prominent hospital in Edappally was the biggest tax defaulter detected so far. The hospital owes the Kochi Corporation Rs. 9.5 crore as property tax. A hotel in Vyttila owed the civic body Rs. 1.2 crore. Of the 800 mobile telephone towers erected in the city, 600 were found illegally set up. The corporation collected Rs. 49 crore as property tax till November this fiscal against the Rs. 18 crore that was collected during the past year, Mr. Thajudeen informed the council.

The detailed list of the defaulters will be placed before the council shortly, Ms. Bhadra informed the council.

The corporation has deferred the decision to evict the encroachments in Fort Kochi beach and adjoining areas to the second week of January.

The District Collector had directed the Secretary of the Kochi Corporation to evict the encroachers. K.J. Sohan, chairman of the Town Planning Standing Committee of the corporation, said that unauthorised shops and structures in the heritage zone should be removed. A few traders who were rehabilitated by the civic body in shops in the area had sold them to outsiders. Several big shops have come up in the area. The corporation should not promote illegal shops and structures, he said.

The council has also decided to remove the bunk shops that have come up on Park Avenue near Rajendra Maidan. In a resolution, the council also urged the Railway authorities to start Mainline Electrical Multiple Unit trains in Kerala and roll back its decision to withdraw the service.

Unauthorised hoardings

A meeting of the Town Planning Committee of the corporation, which was attended by Mayor Tony Chammany, has decided to remove all unauthorised hoardings in the city. The authorities will begin the drive from December 16, said a communication from the Mayor.

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