Prashant Dalvi
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Why MBMC officers are going soft on Mobile towers holder’s due: Prashant Dalvi

In a letter to the Mira Bhayandar Municipal Commissioner Dr Vijay Rathod, Leader of the House Prashant Dalvi has demanded a high-level inquiry into the arrears of Rs 53 crore owed to mobile towers by the various mobile operator companies in Mira Bhayandar.

Mira Bhayandar has 718 mobile towers of various companies. A Town Planning Department has granted permission to these towers. The mobile towers’ taxed by the Property Tax Department as per the annual rental given to the housing society. However, there are 176 mobile towers illegally installed in the twin city. “MBMC has charged the penalty on the company owned by these towers as triple taxation. However, these companies have challenged the imposition of tax with a penalty in the Bombay High Court, which has stayed the decision of the corporation. However, for the last seven-eight years, the law department has not taken any concrete action to lift the moratorium,” said Prashant Dalvi.

The mobile tower holders had arrears of Rs 53 crore. Of this, the administration has received only Rs 3.25 crore. Out of this Rs 53 crore, the amount of interest and penalty has reached Rs 30 crore. “Municipal Corporation takes action on housing society and cut off water of the society if taxes not paid. However, the administration has not taken any concrete steps against these mobile tower holders,” alleges Leader of the House.

The MBMC officials are giving a kids-glove treatment to these influential telecom agencies. “This smacks of large scale corruption. Moreover, the legal department continues to remain in slumber,” alleged Dalvi.

Survey through GIS

The property tax department has claimed that 198 out of 718 mobile towers in Mira Bhayandar had shut down. Currently, the corporation has hired Colbro Group for GIS survey of property tax levy. “The administration has agreed to pay the company Rs 20 crore. Nevertheless, in the GIS survey mobile towers should also be included and counted through this company,” demanded Prashant Dalvi.

“The companies have duly paid the original tax amount. However, the mobile tower operators are reluctant to pay penalty and triple tax on the virtue of judicial respite. Moreover, four agencies claimed to have dismantled 58 mobile towers.” said a tax officer.