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BMC to recover fire service fees from builders, annually from residents

The BMC will recover fire service fees from builders and annual fees from residents despite a civic standing committee directive that the circular to the effect be stalled.

The BMC, though, has said the annual fees pending since 2014 will be restropectively recovered only from builders and not residents. Housing societies will have to pay the annual fees from July 2021 every year, which will be added to their property tax.

“The fire service fee is recovered at the time the building is given approval. So, this fee will be recovered from builders and there will be no burden on the common citizen. This will be taken into consideration and this fee will be charged as per the minimum fees prescribed in law and there is no hike proposed on this amount,” the fire brigade said in a written reply to the civic standing committee.

Last week, the BMC standing committee was adjourned over the BMC move to recover fire service fees and annual fees from builders and housing societies. Corporators had termed the move as unfair and asked the civic administration to stay the recovery process.

The adjournment motion was moved by Shiv Sena corporator Vishakha Raut.

While the one-time fire service fee is around Rs 15 per square metre, the annual fee is 1% of the fire service fee.

BJP corporator Vinod Mishra said, “This is a Rs 5,000 crore scam. The circular was to be scrapped, which hasn’t been done. Builders will ultimately pass on the cost to residents. The municipal commissioner is not fixing the responsibility on fire brigade officials. There must be a probe by the central vigilance commission (CVC) and an FIR must be filed with the economic offences wing (EOW) of the Mumbai police.”

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