SAMBALPUR: In a bid to augment revenue generation, Sambalpur Municipal Corporation (SMC) has decided to collect user fees from houses, which have been constructed on government land under the city limits.
Informing this, Deputy Commissioner of SMC, Sudhansu Kumar Bhoi said, “The decision was taken to generate revenue for the Municipal Corporation. People residing in the houses are availing services provided by SMC without paying any charges.”
SMC can undertake different developmental works in the city from the revenue generated through the user fees, he added. However, the civic body is yet to decide on the amount to be collected as the fee.
There are nearly 72,000 households under the Municipal limits, of which around 15,000 households do not possess patta (record of rights) of the land. As the houses have been constructed on the Government land, they are not eligible to get patta. Due to the absence of patta, the households do not pay the holding tax incurring losses to the civic body.
“Despite extending facilities like roads, drains, street lights and sanitation to 15,000 households, the Municipality is not getting any service charges from them. Hence the civic body has decided to impose user fees for the households,” Bhoi said. Sambalpur was upgraded to a Municipal Corporation comprising Burla, Hirakud and 53 villages located adjacent to the city in 2014. However, SMC is yet to provide basic amenities to the remote areas due to dearth of fund. Besides, many areas of the city are deprived of good roads, drains and street lights due to fund crunch.
The introduction of user fee will help the civic body generate revenue for developmental works under the city limits.