At some places, the house tax defaulters faced music, and somewhere, the MC had to beat a retreat.
Threatened and abused on the opening day of the "seal and auction" campaign here on Thursday, a recovery team from the house tax department of the municipal corporation (MC) had to ask for security. It beat drums outside premises to shame defaulters.
Out to seal a gas agency in the Circular Road area, superintendents Sushant Bhatia and Daljit Singh; inspector Davinder Babbar; and clerks Kewal Kumar and Shiv Kumar got into trouble when its owner called up a political leader, who allegedly hurled abuses at the team and sent some men over in a car to intimidate it. "We have submitted a complaint to the municipal commissioner and told him we'd be unable to step out without security," said superintendent Sushant Bhatia, added that the team had failed to seal the gas agency because of women workers inside.
Accompanied by "dholis" (drum beaters), the team recovered Rs 3 lakh in pending house tax from defaulters in Green Avenue and Race Course Road areas. Barring the gas agency, the other defaulters cleared the dues amicably, so no sealing was required. The house tax department has Rs 24 crore to recover, and has collected not more than Rs 2 crore, so far. It has Rs 10 crore in dead arrears.
Municipal commissioner DPS Kharbanda denied any awareness of the threat but agreed to look into the matter. "The teams have to make recoveries at all cost. We'll take all legal action that's necessary," he said.