This development came on Thursday, March 24, when the civic body personnel visited multiple properties of the MMOPL in Andheri (West), including a car depot DN Nagar Metro Station and attempted to disconnect water supply.
As the MMOPL sought two days’ time, the water supply did not stop, said civic officials. However, if the tax is not paid even after this, the property will be seized and auctioned off.
The BMC officials said that disconnecting water supply and sewage lines is a regular action that is taken by them against tax defaulters. If they fail to make the outstanding payment within two days, the administration will cut the water lines and take necessary steps as per protocol.
For those unversed, there has been an ongoing dispute between the MMRDA and MMOPL over who should pay the property tax.
According to BMC, MMOPL is registered as a ‘Private Limited’ organisation and a majority of 74 per cent of the shares are owned by Reliance Infrastructure and remaining 26 per cent by Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA). These factors make MMOPL ineligible to be considered a tax free organization.
Meanwhile, the MMOPL in an official statement have said that they have informed higher authorities in the BMC that Metro Line 1 comes under the Metro Act and is recognised as a railway administrator, therefore they are exempted from paying municipal taxes under Railways Act.
If reports are to be believed, Mumbai Metro One had paid a property tax of INR 117.62 crores till 2013. Civic officials have said that the MMOPL owed over ₹300 crore in property tax to the civic body.
The MMOPL requested the BMC to withdraw the notices issued to them and implement the directives of state government which exempts MMOPL from paying property and municipal taxes.
Earlier on March 11, the BMC had attached 16 properties of MMOPL that included eight metro stations in the K/East (Andheri East) and K/West (Andheri West) wards, including Azad Nagar Metro Station, DN Nagar Metro Station, Versova Metro Station, LIC Andheri Metro Station, Western Expressway Metro Station, JB Nagar Metro Station, Airport Road Metro Station, Marol Metro Station.