The district collectorate on Sunday said hoteliers whose properties have been temporarily acquired to house healthcare staff or quarantine Covid-19 patients will be paid rent as per government rates. The Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad municipal corporations, however, said no rent will be paid for college buildings, marriage halls and other private buildings acquired by them.
Private owners whose properties have been acquired had approached civic officials and the collectorate, seeking rent and maintenance expenses. “We have paid rent to some hoteliers for allocating rooms. Some rooms were for housing doctors and nurses and some for quarantine purpose,” said District Collector Naval Kishore Ram.
He said that so far, they have paid over Rs 1 crore to hoteliers. Others would be paid soon. “We are paying rent as well as maintenance charges to hoteliers. Rent is being paid as per government rates while maintenance and other charges are being paid fully by us,” he added.
As for other private buildings, colleges or marriage halls, Ram said, “If PMC has signed any agreement with the private property owners, then it will act accordingly. But we are not supposed to pay them any rent as they were acquired under District Disaster Management Act till we need them,” he said.
Pune Municipal Commissioner Shekhar Gaikwad said they are using their own civic schools for quarantine purpose and, therefore, need not pay them. On college buildings and marriage halls, Gaikwad said they will not pay any rent. “Some of them asked for rent, we have returned their buildings,” he said.
PCMC commissioner Shravan Hardikar said they have cleared all bills of private buildings acquired so far. “We are not paying them rent but paying maintenance charges,” he said.
Congress leader Arvind Shinde, who owns a hotel in Pune railway station area, said he has not been paid a single paisa by the collectorate so far. “For three months, they did not pay me a single paisa… The room rent is Rs 2,200 per day. I have 50 rooms, I sent a bill for Rs 54 lakh. Now they say they will pay me as per government rates. I will suffer a big loss.”
Shinde said even electricity, water and maintenance charges have not been paid. “I had to pay Rs 4 lakh towards these. I thought the collectorate will pay, but they haven’t so far,” he said, adding that like him other hoteliers have also not been paid anything.
Vivek Shinde, who runs the Maratha Mandir marriage hall near Chandni Chowk, said, “I lost nine bookings in three months. My charges are Rs 1.6 lakh per marriage. I lost this revenue as the collectorate acquired the hall. In all these three months, they have not even paid maintenance charges.”
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