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The team, comprising 12 municipal workers, is tasked with visiting the defaulters and serving them demand notices

Renewed attempts by the Margao Municipal Council (MMC) at revenue recovery seem to be yielding positive results. The coffers of the municipality have begun filling up since the council constituted a team to recover house tax from wards 1 to 6 on December 4. In a span of just 10 working days, the MMC has netted nearly Rs 40 lakh, official sources told TOI.

The team, comprising 12 municipal workers, is tasked with visiting the defaulters and serving them demand notices. The defaulters are required to pay up their dues within 15 days of receiving the notice, failing which the municipality then issues them a ‘warrant of distress’ and grants them another 15 days to pay up. If they still fail to comply, the MMC will be then be free to attach the property of the defaulters to recover the outstanding amount, sources explained.

Upon receipt of the demand notices, defaulters have been queuing up at the MMC’s payment counters, setting its registers ringing. That MMC chief officer Johnson Fernandes wrote to the electricity department seeking disconnection of power supply to some of the “big” defaulters, also prompted many to rush to the council to pay up their dues, sources said.

The MMC faces a daunting task of recovering revenue amounting to almost Rs 15 crore from house tax, trade tax, sanitation fees, etc.

With the exercise showing initial signs of success, official sources said a second team comprising 18 municipal workers will soon be constituted to target wards 7 to 15. There are altogether 25 wards under the jurisdiction of the MMC.

However, what has compounded the problem for the council is the large number of illegal houses under its jurisdiction that have managed to stay outside the ambit of house tax assessment. Repeated attempts by the MMC to bring all such “illegal” houses for assessment of house tax have come to a nought.

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