Patients at the Nizam’s Institute of Medical Sciences on Friday were in for a rude shock when Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) enforcement teams descended on the hospital causing panic and hardship to them. The administration at the hospital came to a standstill for more than an hour as the GHMC officials wanted to seal the premises for not paying property tax dues.
This despite the hospital administration, which owes nearly Rs 12 crore, having intimated to the GHMC about its readiness to pay up to Rs 50 lakh on Friday and the rest in the coming weeks depending on the cash flows.
About half-dozen vehicles along with GHMC officials led by deputy municipal commissioner of Circle-10, MSSS Somaraju reached NIMS to attach moveable properties of NIMS director L Narendranath such as his office and his peshi furniture, and the vehicles used by him.
Though Narendranath requested the authorities to give time to pay the pending dues but the officials were adamant and bluntly told the director that they would not leave the premises until they clear the dues by issuing post-dated bank cheques or attach the moveable properties and seal the director’s chambers.
NIMS has to pay Rs 3.8 crore as annual property tax along with an interest of Rs 26 lakh.
Meanwhile, Narendranath rushed to the GHMC head office and met commissioner Somesh Kumar. The commissioner told Express that the NIMS director has agreed to clear the dues and sought more time as they have to receive pending dues from various government organisations. NIMS agreed to pay `50 lakh by issuing a cheque and assured to clear the pending property tax dues at the earliest.
Based on the assurance from the director, GHMC officials left the premises.
Meanwhile, sources in the hospital administration said that the hospital owes around Rs 12 cr to the GHMC including interest for many years. “While we owe Rs 12 cr to GHMC, others including likes of the CGHS and RTC owe us around Rs 60 cr,” said an official.
GHMC is collecting property tax for taking up developmental activities like sanitation, roads, street lights and other civic amenities in the city. Somaraju said that NIMS is one of the city’s biggest property tax defaulter. The institute owes a staggering Rs 12.67 crore to GHMC and not paying the dues since the last three years. GHMC has issued warrants to seize the moveable properties and notices were slapped on them to clear the dues, he added.