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The state-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) has blamed the Nashik Municipal Corporation (NMC) for charging excessive property tax.

The BSNL has said it is not against paying property tax, but the NMC should not levy surplus property tax. The BSNL also said it will file a writ petition in the Bombay high court in a day or two.

The BSNL has contended that the civic body should recover property tax of Rs 5,000 for a flat measuring 1,000 sq ft, while the NMC charges property tax of Rs 1.5 lakh per tower for a space of 200 sq ft on the terrace of the same building. The BSNL has sent a letter in this regard to the NMC on Saturday.

The BSNL’s reaction comes after the Nashik Municipal Corporation (NMC) took possession of 16 cellphone towers across the city for defaulting payment of Rs 1.97 crore.

In 2006, the BSNL moved the Bombay high court against the NMC for taking action against the telecom company for defaulting property tax of three towers. The court had granted status quo for the three towers.

Nitin Mahajan, BSNL’s general manager said civic facilities like water are not availed for towers, but the NMC levies property tax on towers with excess rates. “In Karnataka and Chhattisgarh, there has been a uniform policy and property tax of Rs 11,000 is charged annually there,” he said.

In 2016, some telecom companies had moved the Supreme Court to levy high property tax on cellphone towers by the civic bodies concerned in various states. “The Supreme Court had passed a judgment that the tax levied by civic bodies is exorbitant and cellphone companies may challenge this in the high court,” Mahajan said.

He added that they were not against paying property tax, but it should be implemented properly. “The NMC’s action may hit company services to its customers, institutes and commercial establishments. We will move the high court in this regard in a day or two,” Mahajan said.

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