Mumbai: A city where even the slum-dwellers are taxed

Although slums do not even have the most basic of civic facilities, like drinking water supply or sewage collection, BMC argues that they have the right to collect tax from every structure in the city.

Anant Rangaswami December 20, 2011 11:55:57 IST
Mumbai: A city where even the slum-dwellers are taxed

BKC will look very different for 15 days – Anna Hazare will be camping there. “Around 30,000 square metres of prime land in Mumbai has been approved for social activist Anna Hazare's fast from December 27. A delegation of India Against Corruption, which spearheads the Jan Lokpal Andolan in Mumbai, met officials of the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) on Monday.

“We have got permission from the MMRDA for 30,000 square metres of land from December 26 … at the MMRDA [grounds] at the Bandra-Kurla Complex. But the dates will be finalised, depending on the parliamentary session. We have sought permission for 15 days,” reports The Hindu.

Mumbai A city where even the slumdwellers are taxed

Slum in Mumbai. Reuters

You can meet at Shivaji Park, but you can’t park there. “Private parking will not be permitted at Shivaji Park, the Bombay high court said on Monday, even as it allowed parking for a private function to be held at a Cadell Road auditorium. A division bench of chief justice Mohit Shah and justice Roshan Dalvi was hearing an application for parking on the ground on December 21, while the function is to be held at the Savarkar Smarak auditorium nearby. This was objected to by Wecom Trust, the petitioner in the original public interest litigation, wherein the court had declared the park a silence zone in May 2010. In August 5, 2010, the HC restrained the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) from granting permission for entry to and parking of private vehicles/trucks/tempos at the park, except for its maintenance,” says The Times of India.

You can drink, but do not drive – the chances are you will get caught. “As the year draws to a close and the city gears up to party, the traffic police have a word of advice for motorists: don't mix drinking and driving. Having caught 14,034 motorists for the offence this year, the traffic police will launch a special campaign this week which will conclude in the new year.

"Our advice to motorists is to celebrate safely," said additional commissioner (traffic) Brijesh Singh. "We will study the pattern of offences recorded in previous years before deciding on our plan of action. Enforcement will be in such a manner that motorists don't endanger the lives of others,” reports Times of India.

And the chances are that you will get caught if you travel without a ticket on the Western Railway. “Total 11.89 lakh cases of ticketless travel were detected on the Western Railway between April and November 2011, 21% more than the corresponding period last year, resulting in recovery of Rs 40.18 crore. Sharat Chandrayan, chief public relations officer, WR, said, "Similarly, 3,854 cases of illegal transfer of reserved tickets were also detected." During November 2011, 1.46 lakh cases of ticketless/irregular travel were detected, resulting in realization of Rs 4.93 crore in fines,” according to a Times of India report.

And CNNgo lists the best galleries in Mumbai. “In a city that inspires enterprise as much as it inspires creators of art, there’s a new gallery opening everywhere you look in Mumbai. From converted warehouses and ordinary rooms, here are some of the best art galleries in Mumbai, selected not just for their spaces but for the people whose vision drives what goes on within. Details here. Best Mumbai art galleries | CNNGo.com.

Watch your friend requests on Facebook carefully. “Corporators are logging on to Facebook to woo young voters and step up their online interaction as the 2012 civic elections draw near. Corporators across party lines have been increasing their activity on social networking websites to cash in on the Internet-savvy voters. “I have started uploading photographs of the inauguration activities and other projects initiated by me on my Facebook profile. Through this, more people will become aware of what I have accomplished as I have a vast network of friends on FB,” said Rahul Shewale, Shiv Sena corporator and Standing Committee chairman,” reports the Indian Express.

A property tax for slum dwellings? Hindustan Times asked the BMC Commissioner, “Most slums do not have even the most basic of civic facilities, like drinking water supply or sewage collection. Is it morally right for the BMC to impose property tax on such slums?” This is how he replied, “This question is justified from the point of view of slum dwellers, and we will take such questions into consideration while we deliberate on it. However, the law allows us to tax every structure in the city.” More details here.

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