MSHRC summons MBMC chief
Latest News

MSHRC summons MBMC and Police chiefs over disconnecting water lines over unpaid property tax

The Maharashtra State Human Rights Commission (MSHRC) has summoned the Mira-Bhayandar Municipal Corporation (MBMC) Commissioner and the MBVV Police Commissioner and sought reply over the disconnecting of water lines over unpaid property tax. Advocate Mukesh Sharma, a resident of Indralok in Bhayandar had complained to the commission.

Sharma said that drinking water is a fundamental, constitutional and natural right of every citizen and a vital necessity. No one can deprive anyone from it. Despite this, Mira-Bhayandar Municipal Corporation is cutting water connections for collection of property tax. However, he alleges that, MBMC has not served any notice to the society. Their action is totally illegal.

Through a case study, Sharma reminded the commission that, the Bombay High Court had reprimanded the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) for disconnecting the water connection of a commercial building in Oshiwara and asked to reconnect the pipelines. Whereas, the building with 119 members had an outstanding property tax of Rs 2.65 crore.

Order to reply by March 15

Sharma said that it came to his notice that MBMC has disconnected the water connection of the entire society whereas property taxes are due of some flats. “Some members of the society are defaulters and MBMC is punishing other members of the building also who had paid their taxes. It is a matter of punishing the innocent and in a way; it is also a kind of extortion,” said Sharma.

When Sharma questioned the Municipal Commissioner and officials about any order or law in this regard, he did not get any reply from them.

He said that when he complained to the police, no action was taken against the Municipal Corporation. After this he went to the commission. The MSHRC has ordered the municipal commissioner and the police commissioner to respond to the summons by March 15.

 “As per bye-laws, the MBMC is empowered to disconnect water lines. However, we had disconnected one or two pipe lines of the housing societies and not completely deprived them from water. Definitely, we will respond to the commission and put our side. We will act according to the commission’s orders further,” said Sanjay Shinde, Deputy Commissioner, MBMC.

The MBMC had disconnected 357 pipe lines till Friday due to nonpayment of the property taxes. The property tax collected till date is Rs.143 crore out of Rs. 222 crores estimated. MBMC hopes to collect another Rs 50 crore by this month end.