A day after tax notice on Taj & Agra Fort, ASI says ‘not liable to pay’

ASI superintending archaeologist for Agra circle said that, property tax is not applicable on monuments. and ASI is not liable to pay taxes for water as there is no commercial use.
The building of the Department of Archaeology, Office of the Archaeological Survey of India. (File Photo |EPS)
The building of the Department of Archaeology, Office of the Archaeological Survey of India. (File Photo |EPS)

LUCKNOW: In a first, the Agra Municipal Corporation (AMC) has issued a notice to Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) asking it to pay property tax worth Rs 1.47 lakh and a water bill worth Rs 1.9 crore for the monument of love, the iconic Taj Mahal. A period of 15 days has been given to ASI to pay the bills, failing which the property would be “attached”. However, the ASI claimed that the notice issued by the AMC seemed to be a mistake.

The ASI superintending archaeologist for Agra circle, Dr Raj Kumar Patel confirmed the notices saying that three notices were received by ASI so far -- two for the Taj Mahal and Rs 1.47 lakh as property tax for the Agra Fort. Patel said that the notices seemed to have been sent by mistake and the ASI had replied to AMC notices.

“Property tax is not applicable on monuments. We are also not liable to pay taxes for water as there is no commercial use. Water is used to maintain greenery within the premises. Notices related to water and property tax for the Taj Mahal have been received for the first time,” said Patel. The notices were issued on November 25.

Meanwhile, civic authorities claimed that the notice was served for property and water tax pending against the ticket window and residential wing at eastern gate of the Taj Mahal and not the monument itself. Assistant municipal commissioner and in-charge of the Tajganj zone, Sarita Singh, said that the matter was being investigated. “A private company has been tasked to realize tax on the basis of a Geographic Information Survey (GIS).”

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