Published On : Mon, Jul 6th, 2015

NMC: Negligence in revenue generation, yet hue and cry for fund-crunch!


Nagpur: The Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) has been always crying for fund crunch and overtly it keeps seeking government grants under scarcity of funds, but it never realizes that it has revenue generation resources in abundance. But, unfortunately its officials, constituting management at different levels, are showing dereliction on their part.
For instance, Mangalwari Bazar area (near Sadar), which has NMC’s shopping complex, can be a good source of revenue but the NMC officials are not serious about considering this ‘direct source of income.’

According to available sources, the Managalwari Bazar area has commercial complex (Ground plus one) well constructed after year 1982. There are 82 shops constructed on its first floor, measuring 100 sq ft to 500 sq ft. in each complex. There are in all 164 shops in two complexes. These shops were allotted to local self-employment seekers, then, at a very cheap rate of monthly rent, say, Rs 600 to Rs 2500 per month, subject to the size of the shop. As on this date, due to lack of maintenance the said shopping complex has become a hell with filth and dirt all over and defacement of construction, done 33 years ago. Moreover, there is no arrangement for toilets and bathrooms, etc, as basic needs. As a result, it has become much unhygienic and sans basic amenities.

If the NMC pays heed to such an awful condition of the complex and tries to improve the basic amenities, its cost will grow. As on this date, the Sadar area has become so costly that about Rs 10,000 to 15,000 per month are charged as rent for a shop of 100 sq ft size, that too with Rs 1.5 lakhs to Rs 25 lakhs as ‘pagadi.’ But the NMC-fixed rent of these shops is as it is over a long period of time. It has not been revised as per rent rules.

What is more important to note is that that many shops, allotted in the name of the original owner(s), have been sold out to others, without appropriate procedure, and then again resold repeatedly to several occupiers, that too by taking ‘pagadi’ in Rs 15 to 25 lakhs of rupees. According to sources, these irregularities have been going on for a long period of time.

Even today, as it is not too late, if the NMC administration looks into the matter seriously and reconsiders revision of rent on current rates as well as registration charges on existing rate and removes all other irregularities of multiple-sale in respect of these shops, a good deal of revenue would reach its exchequer as a relief to the ailing NMC. As per an estimate, the NMC would receive in crores during fiscal year 2015-16.

This being the immediate source of income growth, none of the officials of bazaar department is interested to act in this direction. Even the local corporator or zonal officer does not seem to be bothered about it. Sources informed that such existing irregularities have become unofficial sources of earning for certain NMC officials, and the situation of all commercial complexes in the city is the same.

Rajeev Ranjan Kushwaha (