Owners or tenants of properties coming within the limits of the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) will have to share the costs of solid waste management with the civic body from April.
Property owners as well as tenants will have to pay solid waste management cess, the rates for which have been announced.
The decision to levy the cess on all properties was taken in the light of the expenditure the BBMP incurs on solid waste management: around Rs. 200 crore every year and rising. Separate slabs have been fixed according to Section 103 (B) of the Karnataka Municipal Corporations Act 1976, and the cess has to be paid along with the property tax.
Forms to pay the garbage cess will be given along with the property tax forms in which owners have to mention the measurement and type of property they own. Those paying property tax for the full year can pay the solid waste cess for the whole year too, while those paying the tax for half the year will have to pay the cess for the same duration.
The solid waste management cess has to be paid within 60 days from the commencement of the next financial year, failing which BBMP officials will issue notices. The officials will assess the property of the defaulters who will then have to pay the cess with penalty.
Defending the cess, Mayor S.K. Nataraj said it was being introduced as per the guidelines of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM).
However, Janata Dal (Secular) Floor Leader in BBMP Council Padmanabha Reddy said that collecting it was not mentioned anywhere in the JNNURM guidelines, and that the BJP was using it as an excuse to cover up for its maladministration. He added that the cess will not ensure a cleaner Bangalore.
Mr. Reddy said his party will continue to oppose the cess. “We had opposed it in the Council, and we will continue to oppose it. We are planning to start a movement before it comes into effect after consultation with the party leadership.”
M. Nagaraj, Leader of the Opposition in the BBMP Council, said the garbage cess was anti-people. “What are people paying property taxes for? It is all-inclusive. What is the point of collecting separate taxes for every aspect of property?” he asked.