SRINAGAR, June 11: Former Minister and Apni Party Provincial President Kashmir Mohammad Ashraf Mir on Friday took a strong exception over the reports of levying of property tax by the Badami Bagh Cantonment Board (BBCB) from the locals living in the vicinities of Sonawar, Batwara, Indra Nagar and Shivpora.
In a statement issued here, Mir said that such arbitrary decisions will only tend to create more problems for the people who in advance are facing the brunt of lockdowns due the prevailing pandemic across the country.
“The people living within the jurisdiction of Badami Bagh Cantonment area have had their ancestors living there for ages and now all of a sudden, they are asked to pay taxes for their own properties. It is totally absurd and excruciating for the residents living there,” he remarked.
Mir said that the developmental works in these areas have been always carried out by the State government and no minuscule role has been played by the Cantonment authorities.
“The condition of the roads and internal alleys has become explicitly deplorable and the waterlogging problems are persistently reported. The requisite permissions for the construction or even renovations take eons time. When all the developmental works have always been done by the state governments, then in what capacity the people living in these areas are supposed to pay such taxes,” he observed.
He asserted that the condition of numerous metropolitan areas maintained by such cantonment boards elsewhere in the country are highly advanced and developed but the case here is total reverse.
“Currently, Delhi Cantonment Board runs 12 Schools, a 49-bedded hospital, maintains about 20 km of public roads widely used by the public but here we are met with a plain disparity. If the BBCB would have also provided such facilities to the civilian population living in the area, then I would have only mentioned accolades for them. But the reality is evident,” he said.
Furthermore, he urged the Central Government to intervene in this matter of grave concern and allow the general public in these areas to live in amity as they have been economically devastated by the viciousness of the pandemic and are unable to pay such heavy taxes.