Bengaluru Buzz: BBMP’s notices on underpaying tax | 35.3% rise in air passengers … and more

Other news of the week: Doubt over display of Kannada numerals, more EV charging stations to be added, and discussions on new aggregator app.

BBMP serves notices on underpaying tax

After a recent upgrade of its revenue division, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has begun to serve notices to defaulters who have underpaid or under-assessed their property tax for seven years. Munish Moudgil, Special Commissioner (Revenue), said that the KMC Act and the BBMP Act allow revenue officers to issue notices when they find properties being under-assessed to pay a lesser amount of tax. It requires revenue officers to survey a building. BBMP has issued notices to 20,000 property owners so far.

However, many, including Transport Minister Ramalinga Reddy, have expressed disagreement that the new rule has come up without following any guidelines. He said the notices are causing unnecessary burden to property owners. He asked Development Minister DK Shivakumar to call a meeting of the officers, discuss it and frame proper guidelines.

Source: Deccan Herald, The Hindu

Read more: Opinion: Message from new tax regime — spend, don’t save

35.3% rise in air passengers in 2023

There was a rise in passenger numbers at the Bangalore International Airport Limited (BIAL), operator of Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) last year. The airport handled 3.72 crore (37.2 million) passengers, which was a 35.3% increase over 2022. Of these, 3.27 crore (32.7 million) were domestic passengers and 45 lakh (4.5 million) were international.

Various factors, such as reduced travel limitations, improved economic conditions, and increased demand for leisure and business travel, led to the rise. The highest number of air traffic movements (ATMs) was on March 17, 2023, touching 748 ATMs.

On April 29, 2023, the airport recorded the highest number of passengers in a single day – 116,688.

Source: The Hindu,

Doubt over display of Kannada numerals

There is a lot of uncertainty about Union Minister’s (for Petroleum and Natural Gas) announcement that state-owned oil companies will display fuel prices in Kannada at all petrol stations. The station managers are unsure how to meet the directive, as they have not planned the software upgrade to include Kannada numerals. Branch managers are awaiting instructions from the centres.

Many citizens said that Kannada numbers are complicated and would create confusion among people.

Source: Deccan Herald

More EV stations to be added

Currently, Bescom is working on adding more Electric Vehicle stations, the biggest of which will be at Kempegowda International Airport. The hub will have 10 ports (five 50kw, four 15kw, and one 3.3kw), which will most likely begin at the end of March. There are about 320 EV stations in Bengaluru, of which 195 are run by Bescom.

Representational image of an electric vehicle charging station
Representational image. Pic: Pixabay/CC0

Each station has two or three ports of different capacities (50kw, 30kw, 15kw and so on). The higher the wattage, the faster the battery gets charged. The cost ranges from Rs 6 to Rs 7 a unit at the Bescom stations.

Last year, 61,500 EVs were registered in the city, according to the Centre’s Vahan dashboard.

Source: Deccan Herald

Read more: Explainer: How to claim compensation in Bescom-related electrical accidents

Govt aggregator app

The state transport department has set up a 12-member high power committee to draft a report on developing a government aggregator app in a Public Private Partnership (model). It will consist of the modalities of the aggregator app and the fares. The transport department and the Directorate of Electronic Delivery of Citizen Services (EDCS) will get Expressions of Interest (EOI) from companies who want to deveklop the app on a PPP model.

The committee will also take inputs from private players who want to partner with the government. The app will be developed in collaboration with e-governance.

Source: The Indian Express

(Compiled by Revathi Sivakumar)

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