BHUBANESWAR: The Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) has waived off user fees for 2015-16. The citizens, who have already paid the fee for the period, will be eligible for adjustment in 2016-17. The announcement has come as a sigh of relief for many who were hesitant to pay user fee for two consecutive years together.
In February 2015, BMC had issued a gazette notification for collection of user fees from households, shops, malls and hospitals towards sanitation and solid waste management. However, the civic body implemented user fees collection for the year 2015 in January this year. The delay in implementation and lack of communication led to a lot of hue and cry.
BMC Mayor AN Jena said the decision has been taken in public interest. User fees are being collected towards solid waste management which is already mentioned in Section 193 of the Odisha Municipal Corporation Act, where ULBs are subject to collect this fees, he added.
User fees will be collected from all households as part of door to door collection service by BMC. For houses upto 80 sqm in height, Rs 50 shall be collected, from 80 metres to 120 metres, user fees will be Rs 100. Similarly, Rs 200 will be collected from houses which are more than 120 metres.
BMC spends more than Rs 50 crore towards solid waste collection and disposal in the City. While the Corporation’s earnings from Holding tax is less than Rs 25 crore. As per a conservative estimate, from April 2016 to March 2017, Rs 10 crore will be collected as user fees. BMC authorities have also directed officials and tax collectors to spread awareness among citizens about user fees.