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Updated: October 13, 2012 09:15 IST

Get ready to fork out improvement charge

Chitra V. Ramani
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The Hindu

CIVIC DIARY: The BBMP has fixed it at a uniform rate of Rs. 550 per sq m

The newly added areas in the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) limits suffer from basic civic infrastructure inadequacies. Citizens living in these areas can now demand better service from the civic body by paying improvement charge to the BBMP.

Apart from being a revenue source to the BBMP, it will provide the civic authority with funds to take up development works in these areas.

Following a direction from the High Court of Karnataka, the BBMP has fixed a uniform rate of Rs. 550 per sq m.

The proposal was approved by the BBMP council when it met in August. Commissioner Rajneesh Goel issued a circular on September 28 and revenue officials have been directed to start the process as soon as possible.

This is not the first time the BBMP has tried to collect improvement charge. Around two years ago, it had fixed charges at Rs. 150 per sq m, Rs. 200 per sq m and Rs. 300 per sq m for 30 ft x 40 ft sites, 40 ft x 60 ft and those measuring above 40 ft x 60 ft respectively.

One-time payment

So what exactly is improvement charges? Deputy Commissioner (Revenue) I. Ramakanth told The Hindu that improvement charge is a one-time payment property owners in revenue pockets in newly added areas have to make to help the civic authority provide basic amenities.

Clarifying that improvement charge has no connection with khata, he said it was different from betterment charge/tax that is collected by the Bangalore Development Authority.

“Payment of improvement charges does not entitle owners to seek permanent khata,” he reiterated.

Citizens can pay improvement charge to the BBMP either in full or in instalments. Those who wish to pay the charges in instalments have to contact the revenue officers concerned, who will get approval from the Commissioner.

“We will take a call on instalments and the quantum of the same on a case by case basis,” he added.

Who will have to pay?

Who will have to pay the improvement charge? Mr. Ramakanth said owners of single, undivided sites on converted revenue land, BDA-approved layouts on converted revenue land, layouts developed by the Karnataka Industrial Areas Development Board, the Karnataka Small Scale Industries Development Corporation, the Karnataka Housing Board and not yet handed over to BBMP, land acquired by the KIADB for single industrial units, properties legalised as per Section 94 (C) of the Karnataka Land Revenue Act and properties re-conveyed by the BDA may pay the improvement charges.

He said owners of unconverted revenue land and sites in illegal layouts cannot pay improvement charge.

“The revenue officials have been directed to verify all documents and ensure they are in order before collecting the improvement charge.”

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