CHENNAI: Less than 48 hours after declaring that user fee would be collected from residents and commercial establishments for removal of garbage, Greater Chennai Corporation announced a rollback of the decision on Thursday morning.
An official release from the civic body said the decision was taken up following representations from citizen groups, traders and the public requesting not to levy the charges. “The rollback was announced after instructions from chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami,” the release said.
The civic body had on Tuesday evening announced that the user fee based on the Centre’s Solid Waste Management rules 2016 would be implemented from January 1 and would be collected along with the property tax.
The fees were based on size and usage of buildings. Residential building with built area up to 500sqft would have to pay Rs 10 per month while those with 501sqft-1200sqft would require to pay Rs 25. Rs 100 was required be paid for buildings with built up area of 1201sqft-2400sqft and those above 2401sqft.
Commercial establishments and schools, places of worship would be charged Rs 500 per month.
Events held in open public spaces, expect funeral and government awareness activities, would be charged Rs 5,000 to Rs 20,000 by the corporation based on the number of participants.
Penalties for litter in public, non-segregation of waste, burning of waste and dumping of garbage in water bodies would attract a fine of anywhere between Rs 100 to Rs 5,000.
Sources within the corporation said that they would have been able to collect anywhere between Rs 60crore to Rs 80crore annually if this charges were levied. The civic body which is already reeling under acute financial strain after revision of the property tax was rolled back last year, would have earned enough for paying at least a month’s salary to its staff through the annual collection of the garbage tax. “It is very nominal. The civic body has brought in doorstep collection of waste by a private contractor and also segregating the waste at source,” a source said.