The Aurangabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) on Sunday issued notification to this effect, announcing that survey of all types of properties located within municipal limits would be carried out to update database.
The move has come shortly after Nipun Vinayak assumed the charge of municipal commissioner recently.
While it has mandated upon the local civic bodies to conduct such survey after every five years, the exercise was not undertaken by the AMC since 1989. Certain efforts were taken during 2005-2006 with help of private agency, but the task could not be accomplished.
The fresh survey is expected to widen the base of property taxpayers, considering the addition of several new properties that do not fall under the ambit of tax.
The AMC has appealed to citizens to cooperate with its staffers who would be paying door-to-door visits as a part of the property survey. “Residents are requested to allow civic staffers carry out inspection of properties and undertake necessary measurements besides producing the documents related to ownership. Those who will not cooperate during the survey would face legitimate action as per law,” the notification reads.
As per records, Vinayak said, there are only 2.2 lakh properties within the AMC limits. “The actual number of properties is higher — not less than 3 lakh,” he said on Sunday.
“The staffers are already being trained to conduct the survey, which will commence within next few days,” he said, adding, “Two employees have been deputed to every ward to conduct the survey.”
The survey is expected to collect details such as area under property, year of construction, type of construction and its use (residential or commercial).
Hailing the move, Gaffar Quadri, core-committee member of All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM), said, “The AMC authorities should bring commercial properties under scanner first.”
Shiv Sena leader Raju Vaidya, who is newly elected as the Standing Committee Chief of AMC, said, “In past, the lethargy on the part of the civic administration caused the delay in property survey. We were insisting upon carrying out the survey, but the civic authorities were not keen on it. It is better late than never that the crucial exercise is going to take place, finally,” he said.
It is widely being speculated that a large number of commercial properties are yet to be brought under the ambit of property tax. “Many of these properties belong to political leaders or their associates. A nexus between civic administration and elected office bearers was observed in past to deliberately keep commercial properties out of tax regime,” he alleged.
A senior civic official, preferring anonymity, also blamed the elected office bearers for causing delay in conducting the survey. “Property survey is a crucial exercise that ascertains exact status of different types of properties. Having precise idea about such properties helps in calculating number of tax payers and dues to be recovered for them. a section of political elements, however, had no interest in carrying out survey in keeping with their vested interests,” he said.
Notably, a considerable number of residential properties have been turned into commercial ones. The owners of such properties pay residential property tax, thereby causing financial loss AMC. “The property survey is expected to expose such misuse of property and tax evasion,” AMC authorities said.