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Rs 1.14 cr school rent arrears issue dominates Quepem civic meet

Curchorem: The issue of rent arrears of around Rs 1.14 crore by a school to the Quepem municipal council (QMC) dominated the monthly meeting of the civic body held on Monday in the municipal hall. The Holy Cross High School runs from a QMC premises.

QMC chairperson Raul Pereira, vice chairperson Paulo Fernandes and 8 councillors were present while councillor Sukorina Fernandes was absent. Chief officer Darshani Dessai, municipal engineer and junior engineer also attended the meeting.

During the meeting, the chairperson raised the issue of the outstanding rent to be paid by the school.

Earlier, the council had resolved to waive off the rent arrears. However, councillor Amol Kanekar objected to the resolution on the grounds that as per law, the council can only waive off the interest on the rent arrears. When the matter was referred to PWD, it informed that the council can recover Rs 1.30 lakh per month as rent.

Interestingly, the management of the school has conveyed to the council that it is ready to pay Rs 1.20 lakh per annum as rent. Finally, the civic body decided to apprise the school management about its decision.

The chairperson Raul Pereira informed the council that due to the technical error committed by the accountant deputed by DMA, the council had to pay a fine of Rs 37,000 in respect of the process of tender for construction of road, drainage etc. The council resolved to request DMA to recall the said accountant as it does not have power to suspend or remove him as she has been deputed by the DMA.

The council also resolved to issue a demolition notice to a person in ward no 4 who has overnight put up an illegal structure adjacent to his house and has opened a shop without obtaining permission or NOC from the civic body.

The issue of sale of a plot in survey no 102/3 in the land demarcated for the playground in Kondi ward was also discussed. The chairperson expressed surprise over the file presented by Town and Country Planning office, Quepem to the council in respect of the said plot. It was resolved that the said file should be returned back to TCP, Quepem requesting not to consider the issue as the said party has not taken permission or NOC from the council.

The other issues which were discussed included charges for sealing premises, property tax, revision of rent of premises etc. [NT]

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