Hyderabad: About 2,000 cellphone towers maintained by five telecom companies in the city will be rendered inactive soon as the GHMC has decided to disconnect their connection after issuing warrants for evading property tax for over two financial years. A civic body official claimed that despite serving several notices, telecom companies have failed to clear their property tax and that several of them had not even notified the body about the freshly installed towers.
Officials said that the corporation would issue warrants and disconnect and seize the technical equipment that emits signals. The corporation will also levy 100 per cent penal amount on towers which were installed two years ago and brought under the tax net.
According to highly-placed sources, out of about 6,000 cellphone towers maintained by 12 telecom companies inclu-ding ATC Telecom, VIOM, Reliance JIO/CT, BSNL, Idea, Reliance Communication Ltd, Ascend Telecom Infra-structure Pvt Limited, BSNL, Chennai Network, GTL Infrastructure, Tower Vision, and Saurava Towers, six companies have cleared their property tax dues after a series of meeting and serious warnings from the civic body commissioner M. Dana Kishore. Sources said that Mr Kishore had issued an ultimatum to clear the properties tax dues by March 31 to avoid stringent action as per GHMC Act 1955.
However, the six telecom companies have only cleared their property tax dues worth Rs 12 crore for all the accounted towers while confusion prevailed over the unaccounted ones. Further-more, the remainder six telecom companies maintaining 1,000 legal towers and an equal number of unaccounted towers were yet to respond and clear their property tax dues. Out of the six, three companies have not responded to civic body notices over two financial years.
Against this backdrop, the corporation has now decided to stern about tax evasion done by telecom companies, in addition to the negligence of said companies in reporting to the corporation about the newly installed towers.
A senior GHMC official said that the corporation has decided to disconnect the transceiver set, that contains a transmitter and a receiver which emits signals, after issuing a warrant to clear the property tax dues with immediate effect, because telecom companies including Ascend Telecom Infrastructure Pvt Limited, Ascend Telecom Infrastructure Pvt Limited, Chennai Network, GTL Infra-structure, Tower Vision, and Saurava Towers had failed to clear their property tax dues worth Rs 2 crore.
This apart, the official further said that the corporation has also verified that over 3,000 cellphones were installed and not notified by the 12 telecom companies. He said that the corporation will also disconnect the transceivers until they are notified and collect 100 per cent penal amounts which are pending since 2014 on unaccounted towers, which would garner at least Rs 30 crore additional for the existing demand.
The official said that cellphone users in the city will soon begin to face network issues due to the negligence of telecom companies....