Coimbatore

Coimbatore Corporation unlikely to resume levying of user charges for waste collection

The Coimbatore Corporation had in 2017 begun collecting user charges for waste collection, and later suspended it following objection from Opposition parties.  

Coimbatore Corporation is unlikely to resume the levying of user charges for waste collection, at least for now, say sources.

A week ago, a senior official in the Municipal Administration and Water Supply Department wrote to the Coimbatore Corporation asking it to resume collection of the charges as the Chennai Corporation was initiating a similar move.

Now, in the wake of the Chennai Corporation dropping the move following objections from Opposition parties, it is unlikely that the Coimbatore Corporation would resume collection of the charges.

The Corporation was all set for collecting user charges and a few officials had even informally told a few residents’ welfare associations to get ready to pay user charges for handing over waste to conservancy workers.

As per the commitment it gave to the Central Government at the time of receiving ₹100 crore under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission during 2008-09 for improving solid waste management in the city, the Corporation was to start collecting user charges on a monthly basis from residents for the waste they handed over to conservancy workers.

But the then Corporation Council deferred the collection, while agreeing in principle that it ought to be collected. Meanwhile, the Corporation passed the by-laws for levying user charges and had it published in the Coimbatore District Gazette.

At the time of passing the by-laws, the Corporation had said that it was in keeping with the Municipal Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016 that the Central Government had framed.

Sometime thereafter in 2017 the Corporation began collecting the user charges to only suspend it following objection from Opposition parties.

Corporation Commissioner P. Kumaravel Pandian was not available for comment.

Consumer activist K. Kathirmathiyon says the State Government should not collect the charges because waste collection is one of the services for which the city’s residents pay property tax.

If people have to pay a separate waste collection charge, the Corporation could later demand a separate charge for street light maintenance.

Therefore, the Corporation should clearly state which are the services covered under the property tax.

The government also should have a uniform policy. It cannot scrap waste collection charge in one city or town owing to objection from Opposition parties, and allow it to be collected in other areas, such as Tiruppur.

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Printable version | Apr 22, 2021 5:30:06 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Coimbatore/coimbatore-corporation-unlikely-to-resume-levying-of-user-charges-for-waste-collection/article33420216.ece

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