A committee comprising MLAs from Mumbai and bureaucrats of relevant departments will be set up within a month to frame a policy on buildings that have either received part occupation certificate (OC) or no OC, announced urban development minister Eknath Shinde in the legislative assembly on Tuesday.
Shiv Sena MLA Sunil Prabhu highlighted that tax notices were issued by the BMC’s assessment and collection department to residents of Florence Towers in Bhoiwada, Lower Parel, instead of the developer. The building had been granted part OC (up to eight floors). Thereafter, without obtaining full OC, the builder allowed residents to occupy the upper storeys. Shinde, in a written reply to Prabhu’s query, said there are 728 buildings across Mumbai that have been granted part OC and owe the BMC approximately Rs 1,018 crore in form of various taxes.
BJP MLA Ashish Shelar said there are at least 20,000 buildings across Mumbai that have no OC. Residents of buildings with part or no OC are punished by the civic administration as they have to pay double water tax and charges, sewerage tax and charges. “This is a class of Mumbaikar whom no one cares about. He has paid in full for his apartment but because there is no OC, he is burdened with more taxes,” Shelar said.
Congress MLA Amin Patel said that in B and C wards currently, 10-storey buildings are being constructed without any permission. “I urge the minister to immediately stop such construction,” he said. MLAs Sada Sarvankar, Yogesh Sagar, Atul Bhatkalkar and Ajay Chaudhari pointed out that while the builder went scot-free, it was the residents who were forced to pay. Sagar demanded that the government set up a committee of MLAs from across parties to resolve the issue.
Shinde said the government is inclined to take a policy decision which would provide major relief to residents of such buildings. He announced the committee would be set up within a month.