Special Correspondent

Ad-hoc groups will cover all the wards

Udhagamandalam: A special drive to collect taxes due to the Coonoor Municipality will commence on Monday.

Commissioner of Coonoor Municipality Pappa Mayazhagu told The Hindu on Sunday that the move was to improve the fiscal health of the civic administration. The municipality's annual revenue from taxes and other sources was Rs. 5 crore.

Pointing out that normally the collections ranged between 75 per cent and 80 per cent, she said that over the last few months, they had fallen due to various factors including the pre-occupation of the officials with the elections.

The commitments for the civic administration were on the rise. In addition to meeting its establishment cost and maintaining basic amenities, it had to repay several government loans.

It also had to shell out Rs. 51 lakh towards its share of a solid waste management programme. With some of the tax demands being contested in various courts, the arrears had mounted to about Rs. 1 crore.

Ms. Mayazhagu said that out of court settlements to help the people clear their arrears were being contemplated.

Under the special drive, which would go on till the end of December, all the wards would be systematically covered by ad-hoc groups comprising municipal officials.

An appeal had been made to the people to pay to the groups their property and water taxes, rent etc. On November 27 and December 4, 11 and 18 one group would cover Ward 10, 11, 12, 13, 15 and 16.

On November 28 and December 5, 12, 19 and 26 another group would cover Ward 4, 8, 9, 17, 18 and 19. The third group would go to Ward 14, 20, 21, 22, 23 and 24 on November 29 and December 6, 13, 20 and 26. On November 30 and December 7, 14, 21 and 28 the fourth group would cover Ward 25, 26, 27, 28, 29 and 30.

The fifth team would go on December 1, 8, 15, 26 and 29 to Ward 1, 2, 3, 5, 6 and 7.