Public health, PWD, sanitation department, executive engineer (B&R), mandi board, Guru Nanak Dev hospital and TB hospital are some of the government departments and establishments that owe the Amritsar Municipal Corporation money in the wake of unclear water bills.
The cash-strapped civic body, which recently resorted to beating of drums and announcements on public address systems to embarrass the defaulters of house tax and water bills, is going soft on these departments by not initiating the process of sealing though it claims to have sealed the properties of at least 12 defaulters in the past few days.
What's more, even their water supply has not been severed as is usually done with major defaulters. The MC officials claimed that they were corresponding with the authorities concerned to get the pending water bill cleared.
The department, which has been assigned the annual target of `20 crore this year, has so far collected `6 crore. It also faces the monumental task of collecting arrears that too amount to `20 crore. According to officials, of `20 crore, only `12 crore was recoverable as per a recent survey.
According to sources, the remaining amount is attributed to disputed properties and double entries.
Municipal commissioner DPS Kharbanda said that communications were being undertaken with the heads of the defaulter departments. "They have been given time to clear their dues as the funds for clearing the payments have to be sanctioned by the government," he said.
He added that the MC was going strict with other defaulters, who had not yet cleared their house tax and water supply dues. "The officials of these departments have been given clear instructions to be strict with the defaulters and sever their water supply connections if the they fail to clear dues," he said.