Builders to pay fire protection fee soon.Posted on : 19 Mar, 2012
Mumbai: Developers in the city will have to pay a fire protection fee along with scrutiny fees to get their building plans approved by the fire department, according to a proposal awaiting the nod of the municipal commissioner.
The fire protection fee will be charged for residential buildings, commercial buildings, including malls, commercial centres, luxury hotels and multiplexes. This is the first time that the civic body will be charging a fire protection fee for new buildings.
The fee will be in the range of Rs 50-60 per sq m for commercial structures and Rs 25-30 per sq m for residential structures. Currently, the fire department generates revenue to the tune of Rs 40-50 crore through various fees for new building structures. The fire department currently charges a scrutiny fees to grant no-objection certificates (NOCs) to new buildings. Fire officials have also proposed an increase in the scrutiny fees for highrises and other structures.
Deputy Fire Officer A R Patil said, “The proposal to charge a fire protection fee for new buildings has been sent to the municipal commissioner. We have also proposed a hike in the scrutiny fees that is charged to grant NOCs to new buildings. Once the proposal is approved, it will be included in the upcoming budget.”
Currently, the civic body charges a fire protection fee from existing buildings. This tax is collected as part of the property tax. Fire officials said the new fire protection fee will be used for buying fire-fighting equipment and upgrade the existing ones. It will also be used to secure families of firemen who get injured or killed during fire-fighting operations.
Meanwhile, the civic body is also likely to increase the water tax from the next financial year. The civic administration, which has not increased the water tariff for the past eight years, is working on a proposal to hike the water charges, which are among the lowest in the world. While the cost of supplying 1,000 litres is Rs 11.15 for the civic administration, it charges Rs 3.50 from residential users, Rs 25-38 from commercial users and Rs 2.25 from slumdwellers.
The water tariff is expected to increase by at least 30 per cent from next year. Shiv Sena corporator and standing committee chairman Rahul Shewale had hinted at the hike in water tariff before the civic elections of February 2012, but had admitted that the civic body was waiting until after the elections to officially pass the proposal. The proposal will soon be tabled in the standing committee.
SOURCE: Accomodation Times.