RESIDENTS OF six villages, falling under the jurisdiction of Chandigarh Municipal Corporation, Mohali limits, will have to pay property tax. The decision has come as a shocker to hundreds of residents who have complained that since basic amenities were not being provided either by Greater Mohali Area Development Authority or Municipal Corporation, they would not pay this tax.
The MC House had sent a proposal last year to the Local Bodies Department to exempt six villages — Mohali, Shahi Majra, Madanpura, Kumbra, Mataur and Sohana — from paying property tax.
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These villages were brought under the Municipal Corporation in 2014. The House supported the proposal unanimously.
Mayor Kulwant Singh informed the House that the proposal that the six villages should be exempted from paying tax was made after studying the Delhi model where many villages are exempted from property tax.
SAD Councillor Parminder Singh Sohana, who represents Kumbra and Sohana villages in the MC House, said they will not pay property tax as it is a wrong decision of the Local Bodies Department.
Explaining the problems of residents of the villages, Sohana said they were opposing the inclusion of villages in the MC jurisdiction because the bylaws of a city could not be implemented in a village.
He added that as the roads are three-foot-wide in the villages, neither can fire tenders nor ambulances enter. So, if facilities are lacking, why should the villagers pay tax.
According to Sohana, the residents will have to get the building plans of their houses passed from MC which is not possible as most of the residents have been living there for several generations and they have either built their houses according to convenience or have lesser areas to build their houses. Sohana even accused the mayor and local MLA Balbir Singh Sidhu of not doing anything on the issue.
“We will not pay tax is final. The mayor should so something. Either he should start development work at these villages or give exemption from paying property tax,” he said.
Speaking on the issue, Village Sangharsh Committee President Paramdeep Singh Baidwan said they were always against paying property tax, adding that the councillors and the mayor wanted the villages to remain so as most of the residents were not capable of paying the tax. Moreover, the MC has not been providing basic facilities at these villages.
The mayor said they would take up the matter with the government to resolve the issue amicably.