Navi Mumbai MC serves notice over Arunachal Bhavan

[ Amar Sangno ]

ITANAGAR, 2 Jul: In a major setback for the Arunachal Bhavan in Navi Mumbai, the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) has served a final notice of property taxes against M/s Director of Arunachal Pradesh, Turbhe, Navi Mumbai, for an outstanding amount of Rs 7,90,618.

The notice was issued by the assistant commissioner of D Ward, Turbhe, Navi Mumbai, on 24 June, 2021.

The notice stated that a warrant of distress would be executed against M/s Director of Arunachal Pradesh.

“The movable properties like TV refrigerator, computers, machinery, utensils, etc, will be seized or water supply connection will be disconnected under the properties of Rule 42 to 46, Taxation Rules, Chapter 8, to the scheduled appended to the MMC Act,” it said.

The NMMC warned that, in case of failure to pay the tax amount within two days from the date of receipt of the notice, the property would be attached and advertised for public auction as per Rule 46, 47 and 48 of said taxation rules in Chapter 8 appended to the act.

The latest property tax notice by the NMMC could be the final nail on the coffin in the legal battle over the state’s lone asset in the business capital of India. The legal battle among the City and Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO) of Maharashtra, the Arunachal government and M/s US Roofs Ltd is on, and the case is sub judice in the Bombay High Court.

This daily sent queries to the Arunachal Pradesh Industrial Development Financial Corporation (APIDFC) secretary over the new development, but got no response.

The Committee on Public Undertakings (COPU) of the 7th legislative assembly of Arunachal, headed Roing MLA Mutchu Mithi had on 5 November, 2020, grilled the managing director (MD) of the APIDFC over the dilapidated condition of the Arunachal Bhavan in Navi Mumbai. The COPU had sought a detailed report on the status of the Arunachal Bhavan and had given a deadline to the APIDFC MD to submit a report on whether the Rs 10 crore upfront money which had been paid to the APIDFC by private builder M/s US Roofs had been deposited in the state exchequer or not.

It is learnt that US Roofs has slapped an amount of Rs 1.92 crore as maintenance bill, electricity bill, etc, on the APIDFC for payment.

In 1994, the CIDCO allotted a plot of land measuring 2,331 sq mtrs in Sector 30 A in Vashi, Navi Mumbai, to Arunachal’s industries department for constructing the state guest house-cum-sales emporium. After three years, a lease agreement was executed between the CIDCO and the industries directorate in August 1997.

The state government decided to float a tender to allow a private builder to develop the guest house-cum-emporium. The work was awarded to M/s US Roofs Ltd on the condition that the developer would provide eight rooms, including office and emporium, to the Arunachal government and also pay Rs 10 crore non-refundable upfront money within 15 days. The 60-year lease agreement with M/s US Roofs Ltd was signed on 12 October, 2007.

The developer rented out 14,000 sq ft (one-third of the whole space) to the jewellery chain, Kalyan Jewellers. The business establishment’s name has prominently overshadowed the guest house-cum-emporium, thus violating Clause 25 of the lease agreement, where it is clearly mentioned that “the premises measuring 6,500 sq ft being the owners’ allocation shall be called as Arunachal Pradesh state guest house or such other names as the owners may deem fit, necessary, proper and said name shall be displayed in prominent places.”