Visakhapatnam: New tax assessments created with fake documents

A view of GVMC old Zonal office-6 (changed to Zone-8 prior to municipal polls) in Visakhapatnam
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A view of GVMC old Zonal office-6 (changed to Zone-8 prior to municipal polls) in Visakhapatnam

Highlights

According to sources, some officials of Zone-VI revenue wing of GVMC have created new property tax assessments for occupied or disputed lands on the basis of fake documents to help the encroachers

Visakhapatnam: Some of the Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation Zone VI (now Zone VIII) revenue officials colluded with occupiers of endowments or disputed lands to create new property tax assessment numbers on the basis of fake documents.

From April 2020, these officials were involved in violation of the rules to issue property tax demand notices which are expected to vest certain legal rights with the person in possession of such lands. At Vepagunta, Naiduthota, Cheemalapalli and Pendurthi and other areas hundreds of fake documents were produced by possessors of land in connivance with Zone VI staff.

The disputed lands include vacant sites, endowments lands and lands that are in court litigation. The original names of patta owners have been changed and given to another person. Similarly, registered documents were tampered and submitted for new assessment.

Dozens of original documents were tampered with to generate fake documents. Following the same process, hundreds of property tax assessments were created.

According to sources, the corrupt staff used to collect Rs 25,000 for tampering each document but now they are said to be demanding Rs 1 lakh.

According to information, about Rs 2.5 crore to Rs3 crore has been collected so far. Those involved in violating the Municipal Act worked in other zones earlier and even cyber cases were registered against them.

If the new assessments generated during the period were scrutinised by higher officials, many facts will come to light. The officials concerned will also know whether there is a building in the specified area or not. This apart, records need to be verified to check their authenticity.

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