Thane’s mu­si­cal way to

UNIQUE DRIVE Civic body col­lects

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - NAVI MUMBAI - Shashikant Kothekar shashikant.kothekar@hin­dus­tan­times.com

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,

A street band plays out­side a tax de­faulter of­fice on Thurs­day.

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.

Res­i­dents look at the list of de­fault­ers put by the TMC at Mum­bra.

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.”

PHO­TOS: PRA­FUL GANGURDE

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