To meet CM today; Municipality firm on DMA order directing it to collect pending dues by July 31
SANGUEM: Fearing stern action from the Sanguem Municipal Council (SMC), the lessees of municipal shops have urged the council to either grant a rebate or forfeit the rent dues. It is learnt that rent dues amount to several lakh rupees.
Speaking to the media persons, the shopkeepers led by Raju Naik requested the municipality and the councillors to consider their demands to forfeit the rent dues.
Naik along with other lessees of the municipality-owned shops claimed that the municipal authorities failed to call the lessees for payment of the rent dues on time.
The aggrieved lessees informed that the council has been demanding an increased rent with interest on the unpaid amount with effect from 1983, which is unacceptable.
“All these years we did not get any notice or letter from the council to pay the “unpaid” dues. Moreover, the municipality has failed in getting our lease agreements renewed,” they claimed.
The lessees informed that the business in the Sanguem market has slowed down to a great extent due the closure of mining activities on account of the ban.
Incidentally, with no relief coming from the council, which claimed it is bound to collect the rent dues as per the circular issued by the Director of Municipal Administration, the lessees have now sought an appointment with the Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar on July 13 to discuss the issue and arrive at a solution.
Meanwhile, SMC Chairperson Romualdo Fernandes along with councillors Amita Mapari, Maria Mascarenhas and Queiroz Cruz at a press briefing claimed that they cannot do anything in the matter.
Citing numerous circulars and letters issued by DMA, the chairperson informed that the council had written to the DMA seeking rebate in the payment of long pending rent dues by the lessees of the municipality-owned shops. However, they have flatly refused to accept the council’s request. The DMA has ordered the council to collect pending dues by July 31.
There is no looking back on the issue of collection of rent dues from the shopkeepers and the same shall be recovered by month-end, informed Fernandes.
failing which the Council will take the strict action by locking the shops of the defaulters. Moreover the council will not renew and neither issue trade license to the lessees who fail to clear the rent dues, Fernandes warned.
He informed that at a joint meeting held in the council last week in the presence of the Sanguem MLA Prasad Gaonkar, the lessees had agreed to pay the dues in time or in two instalments.