Pune Property tax to be refunded as it's not in line with Services offered.
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Dear PMC Commissioner;
As property owners in Pune, we have been paying Property Tax for the last several years. Despite the annual increases in the Property Tax claimed from us, we note that the services for which we pay tax are full of fault, imperfection, shortcoming or inadequacy in the quality, nature and manner of performance which is required to be maintained by the Municipal and other Acts. Particularly:
1. The 1987 Development Plan for the city has not been implemented to even 30%. Less than 10% of the properties meant for Public Utilities and Open Spaces have been acquired and developed. Particularly for our area; the main 120 feet Baner pashan link road which connects 2 important areas of Pune viz BANER and PASHAN is still not ready. Not a single garden or playground exists for residents in our area. This means that you have failed to discharge your duties and provide services paid for under the General tax (Sarv-sadharan kar).
2. None of the electoral wards in the city are free of tankers and bottled water. Residents are paying several fold the Property Tax amount every year to have access to water for their daily needs and safe drinking water. We have sent letters to you through society showing the amounts spent on Tankers by our society over several years and regular complaints have been made to water department to regularize the water supply. But there has been no action. This means that you have failed to provide services you charge for under the head Water tax: (Paani-patti).
3. You have made it mandatory to take care of our own wet waste; which is a cost to us. For our Dry waste a private agency, Swach, has been asked to charge us separately every month. For garden waste we again have to pay for the pick up. And the streets around us are all littered heavily. This also highlights that you have failed to provide services paid for under Conservancy tax (Safai Kar) as well as under Swachata Tax on all services I use within the city.
4. You have reduced the tree cover in the city to less than 0.5 trees per capita. This makes the air unbreathable, the temperatures soar high, the rain illusive and a loss of ability to recharge the ground water costing the residents of the city dearly. This also means that the services of protecting and preserving the trees as per the Tree Act of 1975 and Tree Plantation / Vriksha Sanwardhan Tax levied have not been provided by you. The trees planted by us also are not provided the water care and cages; leading to their death
5. All the fresh water streams of the city and the rivers have been converted to sewers by laying sewage pipes in them and discharging sewage into them despite the Bombay High Court orders in 2012 to relocate the sewers outside the water bodies. This has contaminated our surface and ground waters and spread disease and death. This also means the you have failed to provide services paid for under Sewage water Tax.
a. You have not provided us any annual statement of projects and their details proposed, in-progress and completed in our electoral ward. This is an unfair trade practice. It amounts to utilising funds for services we neither desire nor are aware about. When we see the high fractions of budgets used in making Benches; it does seem unfair.
b. You have not sought any referendum to seek our suggestions on projects we desire to make our ward liveable or before executing any projects that may be undesirable to us.
c. You have been promoting several projects that are detrimental to the liveability of the city and financing them through such loans and arrangements that create liabilities on us that we do not desire. For example: We do not desire concrete roads and all over Pune we have only concretization which supports global warming and blocks ground water recharging
Hence we demand that the authorities to refund in full, within 30 days, all the tax paid for past several years (over 8-10 years) for deficiency of service and refrain from billing us till all the above is corrected in our property tax bills.
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