Advance penal fee of 35 cr. realised
VISAKHAPATNAM: The contentious building penalisation scheme (BPS) of the State government came to an end on Tuesday with hectic, last minute submission of applications in the city.
The tentative number of applications submitted under the BPS in the city is some 20,000, with roughly 8,000 coming in on Monday and Tuesday. The total amount realised in the form of advance penal fee is some Rs.35 crores. On Tuesday alone, 5,000 applications were submitted at the 20 counters set up by the Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation netting Rs.2.5 crores. Applications poured till late in the evening with the advance penal fee reduced to 10 per cent and the final figure is likely to go up. In addition to its eight computerised counters, the GVMC opened nine more manual counters at its main office besides one each at Vepagunta, Suryabagh and Gajuwaka. With the Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation launching a vigorous and hotly contested campaign to make residents apply under BPS, the rush at the counters increased in the last two days. On Monday, 3,000 applications were received. The GVMC issued 40,000 notices to house-owners and also pasted posters on buildings warning of demolition if no application was made under BPS drawing residents’ ire.
The Visakhapatnam Apartment Residents’ Welfare Association took up the issue of the beleaguered residents and questioned the manner the BPS was being implemented and the move to levy a 25 per cent lifetime increase on the property tax in case of failure to regularise under BPS.
The State government had issued GO 901 for BPS in December last and it was modified in January with a major change, fixing penalty on the basis of land value.