The General House of Chandigarh Municipal Corporation on Thursday approved the imposition of municipal cess on consumption of power. The cess will be around 2 per cent per unit charge. Congress Councillor Devinder Singh Babla said, “Already power bills in Chandigarh are giving a shocker to residents. On top of that, we are approving municipal cess. We have already approved of cow cess on the power bill. This is all unjustified.”
Commissioner K K Yadav, however, told the councillors that if approved, it would just be a small amount. “It would be a small amount – around 10 paise per unit charge. Moreover, it is a long procedure as there are many levels on which it has to be approved. After this, it will go to the UT Administration and then they will send the proposal to JERC,” Yadav told the House.
Following this, the councillors agreed to the imposition of municipal cess. The agenda was brought on the lines of the Punjab government where this cess is levied. The MC aims to earn a revenue of nearly Rs 10-17 crore per annum with this cess. Incidentally, to deal with the financial crisis that the MC has been facing for some time now, the House has already approved the imposition of cow cess.
The general House, meanwhile, approved the agenda of Swachhta on principle. The MC will impose penalties and fines on those who do not segregate waste. A special meeting, however, would be convened only on segregation to decide when segregation would begin and penalties are imposed.
The councillors suggested that there was a need to carry out an awareness campaign to change the mindset of people so that they segregate dry and green waste. “What is the use of segregating waste at the household level when the garbage collector mixes both dry and green waste. So, awareness has to be done at every level,” said Babla.
According to the agenda, for failing to segregate waste and hand it over in accordance with the rules, the civic body has proposed a fine of Rs 200 for a residential house while marriage halls, party halls, festival halls, lawns, exhibitions and fairs with an area of less than 5,000 sq m will have to shell out Rs 10,000.
Clubs, cinema, pubs, community halls, multiplexes and other such places with an area of less than 5,000 sq m will also have to shell out Rs 10,000 if they do not segregate waste and hand it over. Other non-residential areas will be charged Rs 1,000 for not carrying out segregation. Also, those who burn solid waste or bury that on streets or drains, will be fined Rs 5,000.
MC has also proposed charging user fee from people for collecting waste. Any residential unit which is up to 50 sq metres will be charged Rs 50 per month while those dwelling units above 50 sq m and up to 200 sq m will be charged Rs 100 per month. However, as per proposal for a dwelling unit above 250 sq m, the owner will be charged Rs 250 per month.
Mayor Davesh Moudgil said, “In principle, the complete agenda has been approved. The amendments that have to be made in solid waste management bylaws and all would be discussed at a special meeting.”