The Delhi High Court has issued notice to South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) and Delhi Jal Board (DJB) on a plea moved by a society Westend Greens, seeking directions to take over and maintain the civic amenities and other facilities and other statutory and public services of the colony ‘Westend Greens’, situated in revenue areas of Villages Rajokari, Rangpuri, and Samalka, New Delhi.

The bench of Justice Manoj Kumar Ohri last week sought a response and listed the matter for July 25, 2022.

The petitioner society through Advocates Sumit Gahlawat and T.S. Thakral has also sought restraint against the respondents from levying property tax unless the said services are performed by the respondents as well as compensation from respondents in failing to perform their statutory duties is given.

Advocate Sumit Gahlawat, appearing for the petitioner society submitted that the society had been in existence for the last three decades and the Corporation had not provided any civic services despite the fact that the residents have been paying house/property tax, and the society is bearing the entire cost of maintenance of civic services and therefore, request the Corporation to take over the services immediately. lt submitted that the residents decided not to pay the house/property tax till the Corporation decides to maintain the civic services.

The levy and recovery of taxes are connected with the rendering of the essential services as laid down in section 42 of the Corporation Act, and it is incumbent upon the Corporation to provide the said services before they are entitled to levy and recover the taxes in lieu of the services to be rendered by the Corporation under the provisions of the Corporation Act, submitted Adv Gahlawat.

The plea stated that the society has constructed and developed metalled roads, installed poles and street lights in the entire Society, installed CCTV cameras, installed road signs, traffic signs and provided services of maintenance of said roads, greenery of common areas (horticulture and landscaping), street lighting, street markings, sweepers, electricians, security guards, signposting, fogging of central areas, etc. along with other value-added services such as dispensary with free medicines headed by a doctor to its members and residents.

The Society got the power supply from BSES and got electricity meters installed for its residents. The petitioner society has ensured that no encroachment, ingress, or trespassing in Society occurred and it has employed security guards to ensure complete security and safety to its members and residents, the plea read. (ANI)