Hyderabad: Even as L&T Metro Rail (Hyderabad) Ltd worked overtime during the past month to ensure a smooth flagging off of the Metro Rail’s third line by Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao on Friday, the recent slapping of property tax notices on the company by the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC), sent L&T Metro officials scrambling to the CM the same morning for his intervention.
The notices claim that L&T Metro has evaded Rs 15.14 crore in property tax pertaining to its administrative and operation buildings. Furious L&T Metro officials knocked on the CM’s doors claiming that it is the government which has to clear the tax bills as per their agreement with the erstwhile Andhra Pradesh government. However, GHMC officials have instr-ucted their zonal commissioners to bring all unasse-ssed properties like malls, theatres, shopping complexes and others under L&T Metro’s operational control into the tax net and serve notices to the company.
According to sources, the CM, reacting to L&T’s claim, asked GHMC to submit a report on L&T Metro’s dues prior to the inauguration of the JBS-MGBS stretch at 4.30 pm.
The report claimed that L&T was evading property tax payment of administrative buildings in Serilingampally and Uppal circles. For the metro rail, L&T constructed two depots at Laxmi Narayan Nagar Colony, Uppal and near Calvary Temple, Nadigada Tanda in Miyapur, apart from administrative buildings at both locations. The civic body assessed tax dues worth Rs 15.14 crore.
L&T officials said that the as per the deal entered with the government the latter has cleared the property tax dues. They said, “section 43.3 of agreement, which says, all property taxes on the site shall be payable by the government as owner of the site; however, that any such taxes payable by the concessionaire under the applicable laws for the use of the site not be reimbursed or payable by the government”.
A MA&UD official said the ball is in the government’s court and that the CM has to take a call. Corporation officials were asked to provide info on the section which enables to collect property tax from L&T under the GHMC Act.