As against the target of Rs.75 crore, a little more than Rs.57 crore was the collection till the close of the financial year, according to official sources.
This falls way below the Corporation’s goal of achieving at least 95 per cent collection.In the case of arrears, a sum of Rs.43 crore was yet to be collected as against the target of Rs.81.28 crore.
The people were still paying. Therefore, the Corporation hopes to close in on last year’s target collection though the new financial year has begun, the sources said on Wednesday.Property owners paid Rs.2.07 crore on March 31 alone. This was Rs.50 lakh more than the daily collection target fixed by the Corporation.
Though the civic body fixed this as the daily target, it felt that Rs.1 crore was a realistic figure for daily collection. But, even that figure was not consistently achieved.The last day of the fiscal, however, saw a collection that was double the realistic figure. People paid Rs.11 crore over the last 10 days, the sources said.
Usually, by this time, hacksaw-wielding Corporation workers would have reached the houses of those who ran up huge arrears to disconnect their drinking water lines. There was not much indication on Wednesday whether the Corporation would initiate action against defaulters. The civic body wanted the people to pay up so that water lines were not disconnected during summer, when water became scarce.
Admitting that the collection was not up to the desired level, Finance and Taxation Committee Chairman of the Corporation A. Nandakumar said efforts were on to persuade the people to pay so that the civic body had enough money for providing basic amenities.
Mr. Nandakumar said a number of non-assessed buildings denied significant revenue to the civic body. “Some people have not disclosed to the Corporation the additional floors they have constructed. Whey they are already paying Property Tax for the old structures, a spot inspection is needed to detect the new structures and levy tax on them,” he said. “It is even more convenient for these building owners to avoid tax assessment if they have a water connection for the old structure that can be used for the new one also. If the new structure needs another water connection, they cannot avoid tax assessment for it,” he pointed out.