Taj Mahal asked to pay property tax, water bills, ASI calls it 'mistake'text_fields
Lucknow: India's leading monument Taj Mahal has been served notices for paying property tax and water bills.
The departments under the Yogi Adityanath government directed the Archeological Survey of India (ASI) to pay more than ₹ 1 crore in "dues", NDTV reported.
This is the first time in its 370-year history the Taj Mahal is receiving notices to pay bills.
While monuments are not required to pay taxes in India, the notices, according to an official of ASI, are a mistake which they hope will be cleared soon.
Raj Kumar Patel, who is ASI's superintending archaeologist in Agra, said Taj Mahal received two notices while Agra Fort was served one.
Expanding further, Patel said that property tax or house tax is not applicable to monument premises, adding that the water connection is not meant for any commercial purposes.
The lawns inside the Taj complex are for public services, according to Patel.
The Agra fort, which received a notice for a five-crore rupee tax, is a UNESCO world heritage site built by the Mughal emperor Akbar.
The emperors of the Mughal Dynasty lived until 1638, when the capital was moved from Agra to Delhi.
"The cantonment board had served us notice for the Agra fort, a world heritage monument - a total of over ₹ 5 crore. We have replied to them that the concerned government Act exempts monuments," Dr Patel reportedly said.
A senior municipal officer in Agra reportedly said that an investigation had been ordered into issuance of notices, The Times of India reported.
The officer also said that a private company was working on the notices on contract with the government.