If you thought it was a good idea to get a dwelling next to one of the city’s upcoming urban transport projects, then beware, since the government has eyes on your wallet. While you’ll perhaps applaud your foresight once the Metro and Monorail projects become operational, you’ll also be travelling lighter, after having paid a ‘development charge’ to authorities. As per a proposal pitched by MMRDA officials to the government, all those buying a new residential or commercial construction, a resold property, or a redeveloped structure – provided the unit is close to any of these projects – might have to pay this one-time tariff, apart from the annual property tax.
Pay your way
Sources in the state government said that, although no particular quantum has been decided, they have proposed around 10 per cent of the ready reckoner rates of property prices as the fee. Of the 10 per cent, 7 per cent would go to MMRDA, and the rest will be received by the urban local bodies in the area. “We have suggested levying of development charge to the state government. This would be an important source of revenue in the long term,” said Rahul Asthana, MMRDA commissioner. The whole purpose behind the plan is to recover the high expenditure incurred in construction of these infrastructure projects. MMRDA officials claim the proposed Monorail and Metro projects, along with some other transport-related ventures, will lead to expenditure of about Rs 70,000 crore in the next 10 years. But the revenues after sale of all plots owned by them in Bandra-Kurla Complex and Wadala would be only about Rs 50,000 crore.
Sources added that chief minister Prithiviraj Chavan has also asked MMRDA officials to look for options to broaden their scope of earnings. “This is one of the ways to enhance the capacity of generating revenue,” said another MMRDA official on condition of anonymity. The range of proximity of these buildings — which would come under the purview of this proposed tax — from the public transport projects hasn’t been decided yet.
Down to business
The government is also mulling developing Metro and Monorail stations into commercial complexes that could fetch them additional proceeds. These buildings would be multi-storeyed. Officials added that there is need for separate staircases and exit points for fire engines and other safety paraphernalia as part of necessary measures. They warned that any negligence in this regard could prove hazardous in case of a mishap or accident as there’s no provision so far for separate entrance/exit points intended for those working in these buildings and arriving/departing from stations below.