The Mumbai civic body has disconnected the water supply to an elite club whose members are mainly from the defence forces over non-payment of property tax of Rs 221 crore, an official said.
Established in 1937, the United Services Club (USC) at upscale Colaba in South Mumbai offers memberships to serving and retired officers of the Army, the Navy and the Air Force.
An official of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) confirmed the action against the club over non-payment of property tax.
Ashok Tawadia, chief engineer, hydraulic department, BMC, said the decision was taken after his department received orders to stop the water supply to the 81-year-old club.
“We received orders from the property assessment department to disconnect the water supply to the club as it has not paid property tax to the tune of Rs 221 crore.”
The decision was implemented about a week ago, said Tawadia, who declined to comment further on the issue.
Expressing shock over the decision, a Navy officer, who is also a member of the USC, said the BMC was unnecessarily “hounding” the club since it has stopped giving membership to civilians (since 2001).
Seeking anonymity, he said, “Ever since membership was restricted to defence personnel, officials from the civic body had been trying to get entry into the club. When they failed to get in, they resorted to this vengeful act (of disconnecting the water supply).”
Civic officials, however, rubbished the charge and said the BMC has launched a drive to recover outstanding property bills and a notice was sent to the club was part of it and after that action was taken as per norms.
A property tax assessment department official said, “We keep recovering dues from various entities, individuals and issue notices regard this. When an entity or individual does not comply (with the notice), we take action according to the rule book.”