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Friday, June 25, 2021

Govt pushing people to the wall: PDP slams army’s property tax on Srinagar residents living in vicinity of Badami Bagh garrison

The Peoples Democratic Party on Friday demanded revocation of the decision to charge property tax from the dwellers living within the jurisdiction of the army’s Srinagar Cantonment Board.

PDP chief spokesperson, Suhail Bukhari, who was accompanied by the party’s additional spokespersons Najmu Saqib and Dr Harbakhsh Singh Shunty, said stated that there are reports that the people living within the jurisdiction of the Srinagar cantonment Board are being asked to pay property tax. “Instead of helping the people who have been suffering from 2019, the government is pushing the people to the wall,” he said. 

Bukhari added that the government should revoke its arbitrary decision of charging property tax from the local dwellers, saying that it is unfortunate that people after working hard buy shelter for themselves and are now being asked to pay for it again, which seems that the people of Jammu and Kashmir are being weakened economically as well as politically.

As per locals in Sonwar, Indra Nagar, Batwara, and Shivoprra areas of Srinagar, the Badami Bagh Cantonment Board has sent them bills for the ongoing year on their residential properties.
“I received a bill of Rs 25000 for the period beginning from April 1, 2021, to March 31, 2022,” local said adding that the quality of civic facilities provided by the board is “pathetic”.

The bills issued by the BBCB are under the “Section 66(a) Cantonment Act 2006”.

Locals said higher tax is being levied on the commercial properties in the area.

“No part of Srinagar or any other area of Jammu and Kashmir pays any tax on their own properties. This is a new gift after the abrogation of article 370,” a group of locals in Indra Nagar area of Srinagar said.

They said they won’t be paying the tax on their own properties which they have bought through their hard-earned money.

“In December 2019, the BBCB sent officials asking us to vacate the 500-meter radius area around the cantonment as they wanted to buy it,” locals alleged, adding that they had back then decided to go to court on the matter.

“They backed down after we decided to not budge.”

Locals said the BBCB has been charging sanitation fees from the locals over the years but the condition of roads and other civic amenities in the area continues to be poor.

Earlier in February this year, the Government of Jammu and Kashmir had issued a notification imposing property tax through urban local bodies (Municipal Corporation, Committees) in their respective areas across the region.

Badamibagh is a category II Cantonment, established in 1954.  The Board consists of 14 members, including 7 elected members. The total population as per the 2011 census was 22214.

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