Pune’s Empress Garden Gets Notice Over Rs 18.27 Crores In Unpaid Property Tax

Empress Garden Pune
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Sumit Singh
Camp, 28th January 2024: The Pune Cantonment Board (PCB) has served a notice to Empress Garden Management for the alleged non-payment of property tax arrears amounting to a staggering Rs 18.27 crores. The notice, delivered on Saturday, underscores the board’s concerns over the non-payment of dues spanning the past three years, with calculations based on the annual rateable value in accordance with the Cantonment Act of 2006.

PCB’s Chief Executive Officer, Subrat Pal, stated, “We have served the notice to Empress Garden Management, instructing them to settle the outstanding property tax arrears with the board promptly. Failure to comply will lead to further legal actions.”

Empress Garden, a renowned green oasis in Pune and a hub of rich biodiversity sprawled across forty acres near Pune Racecourse, is currently under the management of the Agri-Horticultural Society of Western India. Trust Honorary Secretary Suresh Pingale remarked, “Property tax-related matters fall under the jurisdiction of the public works department’s building cell, and we are not privy to further details about the notice.”

The Empress Garden, with its historic legacy, traces back to the establishment of the Agri-Horticultural Society of Western India in 1830 by Sir John Malcolm, the then Governor of Bombay state. Over the years, it has been nurtured by prominent figures such as botanist Dr. Birdwood, Dr. Heddle, Dr. Jagannath Shankar Seth, David Sasoon, Jamshedji Jijabhoy, and others.

The trust boasts notable members, including renowned rosarian Suresh Pingale as Honorary Secretary and Dr. Phiroz Poonawalla as Honorary Treasurer. Supported by experts in the field like Dr. Madhav Gadgil, environmentalist; Dr. Vijay Kelkar, economist and senior bureaucrat; Prof. S. D. Mahajan, botanist; Sumantai Kirloskar, environmentalist; Yashwant Khaire, former garden superintendent of PMC; and others.