Published On : Sat, Sep 9th, 2017

MIA protests against exhorbitant Gram Panchayat tax and unclean drinking water

MIDC Industries Association held a press conference on 8th September to expose a number of issues industries based here are facing.

Some of the issues like not having access to clean drinking water are long pending. Though there are almost 1000 industries based here who together employ almost 30,000 people they are supplied with only Ambazari water to use and drink, which is full of pollutants.

Though it was not brought up at the press conference, this, most occupied industrial area of the city also does not have adequate ESIC hospital facility. There are no E.R. services and the one clinic available often has no Doctor present. Especially on Sundays, when rest of factories are working.

Gram Panchayat Tax & Stamp Duty
Gram Panchayat Tax should be collected by MIDC & not Gram Panchayats. Further the capital value of Industrial Property should be calculated on MIDC Rates. MIA (MIDC Industries Association) has condemned the steep hike in the Gram Panchayat Tax from the year 2016-17. The average Tax levied in the Gram Panchayat has been hiked by more than 5 times. For example on a plot of 1000 where there is a construction of 500, the Gram Panchayat Tax which was Rs. 2000/- in the FY 2000-01, has been unprecedently hiked by the Government to more than Rs. 10,000/- as per the new G.R. For the Industries, which are having plot of 35000 square metres, the Tax has been augmented from approximately Rs. 45,000/- to more than Rs. 4 lakhs. There are several companies in MIDC Hingna where Tax may range from Rs. 12 lakhs to as high as Rs. 50 lakhs as per the new G.R. since the Gram- Panchayat Tax is levied on capital value. The cost of the land in MIDC Ind. Area Hingna is Rs. 2130/- per square metres. However as per the new G.R., capital value is not calculated on the cost of Land but on the market value i.e. ready reckoner basis, which is more than Rs. 7,200/- square metres, for Land & Rs. 18,000/- per Square Metres for Building.

Further the Gram Panchayat Tax should not be levied on marginal space left open as per the Design and Construction Regulations (DCR) of the Special Purpose Authority (SPA) of MIDC. The entire infrastructure including roads, electricity, water and its maintenance are provided by MIDC IN Industrial area and for which MIDC/MSEDCL recovered service charges from all the industries besides yearly lease rent. “As such, Gram Panchayat does not provide any services to industries in MIDC. Hence, there is no propriety for Gram Panchayat to levy separate Tax which ultimately leads to double Taxation”. The real owner of the land in MIDC areas is MIDC itself, as all plots are leased to the industrialist. If the government wants to collect Gram Panchayat Tax, it should recover it from MIDC and not from Industries.

Government is levying stamp duty on the rates again based on Ready-Reckoner. This is totally illogical, because the Ready-Reckoner rates are Ready-Reckoner, market rates & the land for industrial use is procured on MIDC rates by industrial consumer. If the lease hold rights of these lands are transferred, the realisation is much lower than the Ready-Reckoner rates. This not only increases the stamp duty burden on beneficiary but also accuses him of capital gain evasion for the purpose of Income Tax which is totally misleading.

Potable water from Ambazari Lake to MIDC
The MIDC Hingna is totally dependent on Ambazari Lake for drinking & usable water. This Lake falls in NMC area and the Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) is charging Rs. 2.50 Crore per annum from MIDC for supply of the raw water to MIDC, Hingna. It seems that there is no control of the NMC over the Ambazari Lake, as animals are being washed, people take bath, wash their cloths & utensils. Whereas the Gorewada Lake, which caters the requirement of water to the city, is totally well maintained and controlled by NMC for a smooth supply of water to the city and nobody is permitted to go near the Lake. Why this discrimination? It is now in the offing that water sports & seaplanes are being introduced from Ambazari Lake & hence MIDC now arrange to supply us the potable water from different water body.

There is also a ‘NALLAH’ which carries sewage & garbage and various wastes of chemical & oil from Wadi area, which finally merges in Ambazari Lake. Zilha Parishad (Govt.) never thought of providing a Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) on this ‘NALLAH’. It is ignoring the health issues of 30,000 workforce of MIDC Hingna. The chief Minister, Shri Devendraji Fadanvis taking the issue seriously, had sanctioned the STP at the merger Point of Ambazari Lake.

It is the believed that the task of constructing the STP was given to Wadi Municipal Council. The delegation of MIA contacted the Chief Officer (C.O.) of the Wadi Municipal Council frequently. The MIA received a reply that the file was lying with the concerned ministry for sanction & execution work of the STP of the merger point of the Ambazari Lake. The C.O. is not sure when the STP would be a realty.

Sewage, Drainage & Garbage Collection in MIDC Area
Nagpur MIDC is in existence for last 50 years and still there is no provision of sewage & drainages in industrial area and the garbage generated by industries is lying in MIDC for last 50 years. The responsibilities should be fixed on respective Panchayat / Nagar Parishads for keeping the respective area clean. As they are charging Property Tax, without providing any facility to industries in MIDC. It is now learnt that MIDC has taken the responsibility & has floated tenders for collection & composting of Garbage. However laying of Sewage line in MIDC area is not there in the mind of Government for immediate future. This will lead to total disregard to Swatchha Bharat Abhiyan. MIDC presently depending on age old soak pit format for sewage disposal which needs frequent cleaning by manual scavenging which again is a criminal offence. Further disposal in open land again defeat the Swatchha Bharat Purpose.

Expressing concern over pollution of water bodies around Hingna, MIA has demanded to concerned authorities to speed up the long pending proposal of setting up a Common Effluent Treatment Plant (CETP) at MIDC Hingna Industrial Area. MIA opined that they are not satisfied with the existing system of effluent treatment which was eventually polluting Vena River and some other Lakes. With no common facility for the industries in Hingna MIDC, as of now the manufacturers are supposed to carry the effluent by tankers to a facility at Butibori putting financial burden of Rs.8,000/- to Rs.10,000/- per tanker on them. According to rough estimate, 25 to 30 tankers filled with effluent are being taken to Butibori every day, but it seems that there is disparity in the number of tankers being carried out and the amount of effluent generated in the MIDC area. MIA is estimating that more than 100 tankers of the harmful effluent might be coming out of the units in Hingna.

On many occasions, when the state Pollution Control Board rejects effluent and asks the concerned manufactures to retreat the material, they avoid the repetition and dump the harmful effluent in open places. Ideally they are supposed to take back the effluent and minimize the quantity of harmful contents. MIA has been demanding the facility in Hingna so that local manufacturers could save their spending on carrying effluent to treatment plant at Butibori. It is important to note that for over 15 years, MIA is struggling to built a common facility in Hingna. There is a piece of land reserved for the purpose but for one or the other reason, the proposal of the much-needed facility is the gathering dust.

MIDC has now taken the responsibility of constructing Hingna CETP. They have gone door to door to assess the quantity of treated effluent from all the polluting Industries. MIA is in the process of handing over the papers for all the work done by their SPV i.e. Hingna CETP Industrial cooperative Society. This includes Qualitative & Quantitative Analysis, Sample Analysis, Consent to Establish and Environmental Clearance etc.