Sahara pays tax dues, Aamby Valley 'unsealed' after six hours

Barely six hours after the Maharashtra government sealed the Sahara India Pariwar's flagship Aamby Valley Resort for non-payment of tax, the company paid up the outstanding non-agriculture tax dues and the seal was broken

Aamby Valley City owned by Sahara India Pariwar has been sealed by Revenue Department officials, on Tuesday over unpaid dues of non-agricultural tax amounting to Rs 4.50 crores.

Aamby Valley sealedGovernment official's seal Aamby Valley city gates

The Aamby Valley city, situated at Lonavala, is spread over 10,000 acres of land. The planned city has a residential area as well as luxury hotels.

On Tuesday, around 9 am, the officials from Mulsi region in Pune asked the employees of the city to walk out and thereafter sealed the gate and the offices.

Aamby Valley sealedThe sealed gate of Aamby Valley

Speaking to mid-day, Nilesh Gaikwad, Naib Tehsildar of Mulsi taluka said, ''From last two years, the Aamby Valley city has not paid the Non agricultural (NA) land tax amounting to Rs 4.50 lakh. We have sent them enough reminders but to no avail. Finally we had no other option but to seal the main entrance of the city as well offices.''

''For the local residents, the back door has been kept open. The last date for pending dues is till March 31, 2016 after that they will have to face the legal consequences."

The company also termed as 'illegal and high-handed approach' the sudden move to seal and close the resort's gates by the revenue department officials earlier this morning.

In a statement, the Sahara Group also contested the state government's claims of outstanding dues of around Rs.4.50 crore and said it has already paid up Rs.4.25 crore for the past two financial years, with a small outstanding of Rs.27,27,740 left.

Vivek Kumar, C.E.O. Aamby Valley & Hotel Sahara Star, informed that they have paid the outstanding dues on Tuesday itself, "We made payment of Rs.4.25 Cr. for the Financial Year 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 and the outstanding is only of Rs.27,27,740/- for the said period. For the Financial Year 2015-2016, the outstanding is Rs.2,26,13,870/- for which we have 30 days in hand to make payment. However, we have paid by cheque today at the insistence of the department."

For the current fiscal (2015-2016), it said that the outstanding amount was only Rs.2,26,13,870 for which it had 30 days time (till March 31).

However, at the insistence of the revenue department officials who sealed the project main gate and its administrative offices, Sahara Group made the full outstanding payments (Rs.2,53,41,610) by cheque on Tuesday itself.

Aamby Valley, labelled a hill city paradise for the rich and famous, is spread across around 4,300 hectares of lush green hills with a large natural lake and three artificial lakes on the property in Pune district.

Constructed in 2003, it boasts of a private airstrip, an 18-hole golf course, premium chateaus, villas and bungalows, shopping plazas, boating and a good all-year round weather.

- With inputs from agencies

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