After garbage tax rolled back in Chennai, residents of suburbs cry foul over double standards

Suburban residents alleged bias on the part of authorities for forcing them to pay garbage tax when it was revoked in the city

Published: 11th January 2021 07:05 PM  |   Last Updated: 11th January 2021 07:05 PM   |  A+A-

Residents also said they did not see the purpose of the tax as garbage collection was poor in the suburbs| DEBADATTA MALLICK

Express News Service

CHENNAI: Weeks after the Chennai Corporation rolled back its decision to collect garbage tax, residents of the city’s suburbs are questioning why the policy has not been rolled back in the municipalities, which are just a few kilometres away from the city limits.

Some residents in Pallavaram also recently protested outside the municipality office demanding that officials remove the garbage tax.

The residents said the garbage tax was being implemented since 2017 in the municipalities but the Chennai Corporation decided to implement it only in 2020, which met with opposition from residents.

Activist Santhanam, a resident of Chromepet, who led the protests outside the municipality office, alleged bias on the part of authorities for forcing suburban residents to pay garbage tax when it was revoked in the city.

“This shows clear bias against suburban residents by the municipal administration. Garbage tax must be removed here also,” he said.

Civic activist David Manohar, a resident of Pallavaram, said garbage tax was already a component of property tax and questioned the need to add a separate tax. “They could make changes or addition in the existing system. Why should there be a separate tax,” questioned Manohar.

Residents also said they did not see the purpose of the tax as garbage collection was poor in the suburbs.

The garbage tax was introduced as part of the Centre’s Swacch Bharat Mission. Under this, residential buildings would have to shell out from Rs 10 to 100 per month depending on the built-up area.

The charges would be calculated every month and will be paid along with the property tax every six months. This move also was expected to earn revenue for the civic bodies.

Residents of Poonamallee said that despite being just several kilometres away from the city, they are paying garbage tax.

“The garbage collection by the municipality is irregular. They also do not segregate it properly during disposal. We do not know why we must pay garbage tax,” said M T Gajendran, a resident of Poonamallee.

He said there must be a unified decision on this and there cannot be any difference in the policy towards people living in corporation limits and those living in municipalities.

Residents said that the scheme also levied penalties on those dumping garbage in the open but it was never enforced.

Municipal Administration Secretary Harmander Singh was not available for comment.



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