Corporation turns 'bandmaster', recovers Rs 10 cr from defaulters

Mar 21, 2013, 07:53 IST | A Correspondent

It may sound bizarre, but the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has recovered dues worth Rs 10 crore from defaulters by hiring musicians

The unique concept is meeting with a good response, and the divisional inspectors (DIs) say this have helped them up the collection from the defaulters.

DI Sandeep Amale said, “There are several defaulters who are yet to clear their property tax and the amount is huge. Previously, we had to follow up with them regularly. But with the implementation of the new concept, they are paying us immediately.”

Tuned in: One of the 10 bands in action outside a defaulter’s residence in Kothrud yesterday. Pic/Krunal Gosavi

The PMC hired musicians and divided them into 10 groups, headed by one or two divisional inspectors and a few Peth inspectors.

Pressed into action since last Wednesday, these bands play music demanding clearance of pending dues in front of defaulters’ residences.

At present, these bands are used against those defaulters whose pending dues are above Rs 3 lakh. March is the month of recovery and the DIs always face various problems during recovery from defaulters.

Better than expected
“The idea has worked wonders. Even defaulters with dues worth up to a lakh are approaching respective ward offices in their areas and clearing their dues. If this continues, we’ll be to collect another crore,” Amale said.

Another DI said they risked their lives while collecting pending dues from defaulters, as some of them were infamous fro being anti-social. But the new idea has worked wonders on such defaulters, who seemed to have softened and are now paying their dues. 

Deputy Commissioner (Tax) Hemant Nikam said, “The new idea has shortened the recovery procedure. Our DIs too are giving us a positive feedback.”
MiD DAY first reported the issue on March 8 (‘Pay property tax or face the music, literally’). 

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