With an aim to improve the civic body’s precarious financial position, municipal commissioner Pradeep Kumar Agarwal has set a target to recover at least Rs. 16 crore of the estimated Rs. 200 crore in arrears of sewage and water supply bills as well as house and property taxes every month from its four zones in the city. Each zonal commissioner has been asked to ensure at least Rs. 1 crore of the pending dues is collected in a week in his zone.
The MC has run up a backlog of unpaid water and sewerage bills of about Rs. 119 crore and officials usually trot out its deteriorating finances as an excuse to delay repairs and new projects. A huge number of consumers have yet to pay for utilities besides house and property taxes.
MC officials have been sending notices to defaulters asking them to clear their dues as soon as possible. Earlier, the civic body had decided to file
FIRs against those who had installed illegal water supply and sewage connections.
“If the MC can recoup 4 crore in arrears every week from all the zones then the target can be met within 50 weeks. This would go a long way in helping to improve the civic body’s finances,” said mayor Harcharan Singh Gohalwaria. However, a civic official said in view of the acute staff crunch the MC’s target to recover at least Rs. 1 crore from each zone might not be feasible. However, other officials said the civic body would go all out to recover the unpaid dues. The civic body has also reserved the right to attach property if house taxes are not paid.