After the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation imposed garbage collection charges for the first time on industries, city-based industrialists were in for a shock as they received hefty annual bills, some as high as Rs 24,000.
Industrialists said there has never been any garbage collection service in the industrial area as the industrial waste goes to authorised vendors and the scrap goes to dealers. However, the civic body stated that it began waste collection in commercial areas on April 1 and the industries needed to pay for the service.
There are over 1,850 industrial plots of different sizes in Chandigarh and the garbage charges were imposed for the April 2023-March 2024 cycle.
Arun Mahajan, president of the Industries Association of Chandigarh, told The NCR Ink, “This was very surprising for us because all our industrial waste is dealt with by the specific vendors/wings under the pollution department. I don’t know what cleanliness effort the civic body is carrying out in the industrial plots for which they are charging us exorbitantly.”
Garbage charges were added to the property tax demand bills generated for the industrial plots. While the Rs 24,000 bill was the highest, some other high-valued bills were worth Rs 17,000 and Rs 12,160.
M P S Chawla, president of Chandigarh Industrial Association, told The NCR Ink, “There is not much garbage generated in the industries and for which they have charged us exorbitantly. This is absolutely unfair. Has anything of this sort been done in the neighbouring states.”
“The business community is burdened with such new charges or taxes every day. Are they compelling the industries to shift to neighbouring states? We will protest against this move,” he added.
Industrialists have decided to meet UT Adviser Dharam Pal with a representation citing “unjustified amounts” being added to their property tax demand bills.
When contacted, Municipal Corporation Commissioner Anindita Mitra said, “First thing, the charges are strictly as per notification and are not inflated. The notified rate of small and cottage industries is Rs 1,000 per month, and the bill of garbage generated is for 12 months as it is sent just once a year.”
Chandigarh Mayor Aup Gupta said, “The industrialists have sought time to meet me the day after. We started the waste collection in these commercial areas this April. And because it is a yearly charge, they feel it is on the higher side, but it is actually not.“
Garbage charges for households hiked
Garbage collection charges for households will see a hike of 5 per cent. There will be a rise of 5 per cent in the monthly charges from April 1. At present, a house less than 2 marla (1 marla = 272.25 square feet) pays Rs 50 per kitchen; 2 to 10 marla pays Rs 100 per kitchen, 10 marla to 1 kanal (5,445 square feet) pays Rs 200 per kitchen, 1 to 2 kanal pays Rs 250 per kitchen and above 2 kanal pays Rs 350.
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