Ranchi Municipal Corporation (RMC) is struggling to collect water tax arrears to the tune of Rs 4 crore from different government and public sector agencies.
The civic body had identified 50 defaulters and served them notices in mid August, asking them to pay up by September 30. However, except Agriculture Directorate (Kanke Road), no one turned up to pay, forcing RMC to extend the deadline to December 31. The civic body said it will stick to the second deadline and if defaulters fail to adhere to directives, they will have to face the consequences.
“We had to give a second deadline as it takes time for funds to be allotted in government agencies and public sector undertakings. But, if the agencies fail to adhere to this new deadline, we will cut the amount of water supplied to these agencies,” RMC Water Board chairman Suresh Sahu said. The fresh deadline was set on October 15.
The government agencies and public sector undertakings collectively owe the civic body a sum of Rs 4.58 crore in water taxes. These agencies, the civic body claimed, have not been paying dues for the last decade or so.
The list of defaulters include Birsa Agriculture University, Bacon Factory, Veterinary College, High Tension Insulator Factory, Ranchi Institute of Neuro-Psychiatry and Allied Sciences, Darbhanga House, the headquarters of Central Coalfields Limited, Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences and senior SP’s office (old) building among others.
While Veterinary College owes a whopping Rs 67.71 lakh, followed by BAU (Rs 67.12 lakh), RINPAS owes Rs 34.4 lakh, RIMS Rs 20.33 lakh, Bacon Factory Rs 12.88 lakh and Darbhanga House Rs 13.93 lakh.
“I have no information and we probably never got the bills. Now, the civic body is slapping a huge bill on us,” RIMS director Tulsi Mahto said, not clearly stating when the medical college and hospital will clear its dues.
RMC Water Board officials claimed that bills were sent to consumers regularly. CCL officials, on the other hand, claimed that they do not have any water tax dues as they have a system of clearing the bills once every three months.
“There is no question of dues. We have a system of paying water tax once every three months. There may be some discrepancy which would be looked into,” said R.R. Mishra, director (personnel), CCL. The civic body has issued public notice to as many as 126 individual consumers a few days back, who have not paid their taxes.
“Each of these consumers has incurred tax more than Rs 10,000 and hence the public notice. They will have to pay up before November 10 or face disconnection,” said an official of RMC, adding that around 15 of them had already dropped into the civic body office and cleared the dues.