After several warnings over the past few years, the Secunderabad Cantonment Board (SCB)has reportedly served a 'red notice' to the Begumpet airport, for defaulting on property tax worth Rs 16.36 crore.
Speaking to Mungara Sunil from the Times of India, SCB chief executive officer, SVR Chandra Sekhar said that they had served a notice under the Cantonment Act, and said that a warrant of distress would be issued if the authorities don't pay up.
"As per SCB records, current dues calculated between April 2016 and March 2017 stand at Rs 1,32,72,269 crore overall. Serving notices to collect property tax is part of a our exercise. Till 2007, the airport authorities used to pay property tax regularly and later they paid part tax again (Rs one crore) after we mounted pres sure on them. Property tax is one of the major revenue sources for the SCB and we spend the money for developmental works like laying of CC roads, widening of roads, water and sewer network maintenance and repairs," Sekhar told TOI.
According to reports, the Begumpet airport was the first airport in the country to receive attachment notices after the SCB sent notices to attach and sale Rs 8 crore in immovable property in 2000, in a bit to recover unpaid dues.
While the airport paid around Rs 4 crore after the notice, by 2008, the total dues had gone up to Rs 10 crore.
In 2014, the airport authorities coughed up Rs 1.32 crore after it was served a red notice.
However, taking into consideration its already pending dues, the airport now owes the SCB Rs 16 crore.
While all commercial flights have been shifted to the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (RGIA) at Shamshabad, the Begumpet airport still serves private operators, and also used for flight training purposes.