Are the renting procedures of Puducherry municipality irregular?
An application was filed with the Puducherry municipality under the Right to Information (RTI) Act seeking to get the details about the rent fixed by the local body for its properties. The reply from the municipality shows that there might be some discrepancies in the process adopted by the civic body in renting out its properties to government and private parties.
The reply shows that the municipality has rented out space for ticket reservation counters at Puducherry bus stand to Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation (TNSTC) for a monthly rent of around Rs. 983. However, the area of same dimension at the same bus stand has been rented to Pondicherry Road Transport Corporation (PRTC) at a monthly rent of Rs. 15,000.
The applicant also said that while recovering the rent, the municipality acts differentially with different tenants. For example, TNSTC has not paid rent for two fiscal years totaling to Rs. 23,676 while PRTC has a pending rent of Rs. 1.2 lakh accumulated over past eight months. The applicant also pointed out that a sports club has to pay a meager Rs. 200 for a 2,480 sq ft municipality property in a prime location. Even this amount has not been paid since January, 2011. Pointing out the lacunae, the applicant has requested the government to take steps for recovering the public money and to formulate a sustainable renting policy.