Thane’s musical way to collect tax
Civic body collects ` 1.17crore in a day, puts up names of more than 3,500 tax defaulters at Mumbra
Shop owner Aslam Shaikh, 40, was surprised when street musicians started beating drums outside his shop at Narayan Nagar in Mumbra on Thursday.
When he came out to see what was happening, the surprise turned to anger.
The Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC) officials and the street band were right outside his shop, declaring that he had not paid property tax. A few minutes later, his shop was sealed.
“My shop is 160 sq ft and I have given it on rent. Every year, I pay Rs3,100 property tax to the TMC. But, I had not paid for the last two years,” said Shaikh.
“Two months ago, I went to Mumbra ward office to pay property tax but they refused to accept payment. The tax collection officer said they would accept the payment only when all defaulters of the building would pay together,” he said,
adding that his shop had been sealed without any notice.
Thursday was the first day of the TMC’s unique drive, in which it collected Rs1.17 crore tax from defaulters. Last week, the civic body had announced the musical way of shaming the defaulters so that its coffers would have more money.
They TMC has also put up a list of more than 3,500 tax defaulters in huge hoardings at Mumbra.
The civic officials formed four teams led by additional commissioners, deputy commissioners and assistant commissioners.
“The TMC cut water supply of 38 buildings which have failed to pay water tax. We have seized 68 water pumps which illegally took water from pipelines. Around 280 properties were sealed. At the end of the day, the TMC collected Rs1.17 crore from tax defaulters,” said Sandeep Malwi, public relations officer of TMC.
On Wednesday, the TMC conducted a trial of the tax collection drive at KhargaonKalwa area.
“We started a trial on Wednesday at KharegaonKalwa area and within four hours we collected Rs8 lakh,” said assistant municipal commissioner Shankar Patole.
Most defaulters had not paid taxed for the last 8 to 10 years.
A TMC official said, “We have given notice to all defaulters. They did not pay tax in time although we sent them reminders. The TMC has right to seal the property for recovery. Now, many have no option but to pay dues.”
A street band plays outside a tax defaulter office on Thursday.
Residents look at the list of defaulters put by the TMC at Mumbra.