Tax defaulters of the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation (MC) will now face the music, literally. The civic body plans to send its men to beat drums (dhols) outside houses of defaulters of house tax as well as water and sewerage tax.
A major portion of the MC's income used to come from house tax (before the implementation of property tax). However, the civic body has not been able to recover house tax for 2012-13 to the tune of Rs. 53.78 crore despite giving advertisements in newspapers along with names of defaulters.
Kamlesh Bansal, commissioner, MC Zone A, said a survey of properties of house tax defaulters would be conducted and a list finalised.
"Drummers would be sent to houses of people who have not deposited the pending amount. If they still don't do the needful, their properties would be attached through a legal procedure and later auctioned," said Bansal.
At a meeting attended by zonal commissioners and superintendents of house tax on Tuesday evening, it was decided to recover the pending house tax at the earliest and that a survey of defaulting properties should be conducted on priority.
Devinder Singh, additional commissioner, MC, said besides beating of drums, the installation of boards outside houses would also be done to embarrass the defaulters.
The MC would also take those residents to court whose cheques for house tax and water and sewerage tax were dishonoured.
Amarjit Singh Sekhon, joint commissioner, MC, said the beating of drums would give a message to the people that failure to deposit taxes would lead to public ridicule. "Hopefully, the method would be successful as there are many defaulters of house tax in the four MC zones," said Sekhon.
The unusual practice of beating drums is already being followed in cities such as New Delhi and Bangalore.