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Aggrieved local residents appealed to the Gujarat High Court against builders and AMC after this structure appeared on the residential property; Image: Nilkanth Dave
The residents of the Gokul Park Society in Gulbai Tekra are in a big bind. A client has built a seven-story commercial building on a bungalow plot for a purely commercial project. Damaged local residents have appealed against him and the AMC to the Gujarat Supreme Court. The Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation gave the builder BU approval for the commercial complex, even though the residents had filed an application with the HC contesting the construction.
The client had initially applied for permission to build a hostel. Gokul Park Society Secretary Jayesh Shah said, “We protested the commercial construction in the residential area and wrote to many AMC officials, but they did not review or reconsider their decision to give permission.”
What confused the residents even more were the different amounts that the AMC calculated in its tax assessments over two years, and the permitted change in use of the building compared to what was previously approved by the client.
Use changes from “hospital” to “hostel” in the tax invoice
“The tax bill for 2020-21 issued on February 5, 2021 for the property by Abhinav Reality showed ‘Sangini Medicare’ as the occupier and the description of use as ‘hospital’. However, another bill issued three months later, on June 16, 2021, showed a change in the username, which is displayed as “Self”, and the description of use as “Hostel” by a charitable foundation.
While the previously calculated invoice amount was zero, the subsequent tax calculation showed that the amount increased to 1/14,583 rupees and the residential status changed to non-residence. “The status seems to have changed and the owner has been charged commercial property tax,” said Dr. Pallav Choksi, chairman of the residential complex, told Mirror.
Residential or commercial?
In response to one of Dr. Pallav Choksi submitted RTI on July 3, 2021, notified the AMC that Abhinav Reality and Sangini Medicare entered into an agreement on November 24, 2020.
According to the AMC response, the property was allowed to be used as a hospital and actually had a commercial purpose. But can a commercial building be built on a residential property?
AMC estate commissioner Chaitanya Shah had told Mirror when he raised the issue in January that they viewed hostels as a residential activity rather than a commercial activity. But here, too, the AMC Tax Act of June 16 mentions the hostel as a commercial building and was accordingly taxed at Rs 14 lakh.
West Zone Tax Officer Deepak Patel cleared up the confusion. He told Mirror: “Hostel is a commercial activity and we have calculated the tax for 2020-21 accordingly.” For his part, when contacted again, Chaitanya Shah, the West Zone real estate official, said he was on vacation and no longer stationed.
The company’s secretary Jayesh Shah said a hostel could not be called a dorm if a business tax was levied. “There is definitely an arrangement between the AMC and the contractor,” he said.
Where is Margin Land and Parking?
This allegation may need to be proven, but what is quite obvious and obvious is the structure that takes up the entire property on which it stands, with no edges left on either side. The created parking space also seemed negligible. “The building covered every inch of land it was built on,” said Shah. “The parking lot in the basement only has space for two cars or something. Every activity, be it a hospital or a hostel, uses society’s streets for parking. The AMC has clearly approved a commercial building in a purely residential area. ”
█ Deal canceled, so start Hostel now: Builder
Abhinav Reality builder Shrujal Patel said, “The case is up to the High Court. I agree with whatever it decides. I had turned the property over to a hospital during the Covid pandemic but the AMC did not give permission and so the deal was canceled. We have now decided to open a hostel there. Our agreement with the hospital was terminated in December 2020. The change of use was delayed, but we have now changed it to use it for a hostel. ”