The civic standing committee on Wednesday shelved a proposal to increase the fire protection fee for new buildings. According to the proposal,a fire services fee independent of the scrutiny fee will be charged on the developer on completion of the project before issuing a no-objection certificate (NOC) for occupation. Also,a separate annual fee at three per cent of the fire services fee paid by the developer was proposed on residents for fire protection services.
The revenue from these were proposed to be directed to the Fire Protection Fund,which could help the fire department cover its costs. Five per cent of the fund was proposed to be dedicated to the welfare of fire personnel in state. Though the committee has approved the increased fee for developers,it has reservations over hiking the fees for citizens as they already pay a fire tax as part of property tax. But this is a fee as per an Act not a tax, said Chief Fire Officer Suhas Joshi,referring to the Maharashtra Fire Prevention and Life Safety Act of 2006.
The standing committee has asked the fire department to put forth its proposal upon revision.
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