The South Delhi Municipal Corporation’s property tax department took to the streets with drums and handheld loudspeakers on Wednesday, standing before the homes of defaulters and shouting out their names for all to hear.
And the effort by the tax department officials to embarrass the defaulters prompted instant results.
The officials had taken similar steps earlier as well, but this was the first time farmhouses and shopping malls were targetproperty tax, ed. They comprise a major section of the defaulters and owe the SDMC a lot of money.
“The defaulters were given several reminders. They, however, did not respond,” said a senior department official. “We, therefore, had no choice but to name and shame them,” the senior added.
The officials went to six areas on Wednesday. Their first stop was a restaurant, the owners of which rushed out to give them a cheque of the first installment.
The team then headed to the farmhouses in Sainik Farm, where a few residents paid up their taxes. It then moved to Jasola and went to shopping malls.
The last such drive was conducted on December 29 when drums were used to recover taxes at 67 properties in uptown areas such as Nehru Place and Mahipalpur.
“The Delhi Municipal Act allows the use of such procedures to collect taxes. However, it had been discontinued. But now we have decided to use this method, as it been extremely successful,” said BN Singh, assessor and collector, SDMC.