NMMC serves final property taxes notice over Arunachal Bhavan

Staff Reporter

ITANAGAR, 12 Aug: The Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) has served a final notice of property taxes to M/s Director of Arunachal Pradesh, Turbhe, Navi Mumbai, on 7 August for an outstanding amount of Rs 8,03,773.

Earlier, too, the property taxes notice had been issued by the assistant commissioner of D Ward, Turbhe, Navi Mumbai, on 24 June.

The notice stated that a warrant of distress would be executed against M/s Director of Arunachal Pradesh within two days of the receipt of the notice.

“The movable properties like TVs, refrigerators, 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 Rules 46, 47 and 48 of said taxation rules in Chapter 8 appended to the act.”

When contacted, Arunachal Pradesh Industrial Development & Financial Corporation (APIDFC) Secretary Hage Tari informed The Arunachal Times that the APIDFC responded to the NMMC earlier, contesting the property taxes notice.

The Arunachal Bhavan in Navi Mumbai is the state’s lone asset in India’s financial capital. It has been entangled in legal battles over the years. The City and Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO) of Maharashtra filed a legal petition against the Arunachal government for leasing out the property to private builder M/s US Roofs Ltd. The case is sub judice in the Bombay High Court.

The matter had been raised by the Committee on Public Undertakings (COPU) of the 7th legislative assembly of Arunachal, headed Roing MLA Mutchu Mithi, on 5 November, 2020. 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 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 an office and an emporium, to the Arunachal government and also pay Rs 10 crores as 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, in which 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.”