Lucknow: The Lucknow Municipal Corporation had only cracked the whip on big tax defaulters of Hazratganj, Rana Pratap Marg, Shahnajaf Road, Caper Road etc on Monday and it made affluent businessmen, builders, contractors and traders flock around the corporation's headquarters at Lalbagh to pay off their dues. LMC had identified 19 big tax defaulters of zone 1 and sent out notices to them about a month ago.
A print advertisement was also carried on October 19 enlisting big defaulters. LMC had decided to conduct a tax collection drive on all 19 locations on Monday. It had already cautioned the defaulters that if they pay less than 50% or not pay at all, their shops, offices, houses will be sealed on the spot. Fearing the warning, most owners showed up at LMC office on Monday and made full or maximum possible payment.
Out of the 19 defaulters, 17 made payments to LMC. Officials said, "We recovered more than Rs 24 lakh out of the pending amount of Rs 32-34 lakh on a single day. This is the first time we sent out copies of letter addressed to the police to defaulters too." They added that defaulters kept calling officials to avoid full payment, threatening about their association with politicians, etc but ended up making either part or full payment by evening.
LMC had sought help from police about a week ago and also sent out copies of letter to defaulters. This made most people willingly make payments to avoid protests. LMC started the drive at noon from Caper Road where shopkeepers willingly gave cheques to tax superintendents. As the drive began, cheques started getting issued at the LMC office without even visiting the spot.
The second half of drive started from Shahnajaf Road but the builder accosted agreed to make only half payment. LMC says the owner was insisting on payment of residential tax though he was running a commercial complex in the name of apartments. After many phone calls to high-profile politicians, the builder finally made half payment.