Barwani: The municipality of Barwani began a special recovery drive from Friday to collect pending dues of the defaulters owing to the municipality since 2006.
Under the drive, three shops were sealed on Friday and other shopkeepers have been given notices to deposit the amount within four to eight days, failing to which their shops will be sealed, an official said.
When the revenue recovery drive started on Friday many shopkeepers fearing action, closed their shops and disappeared. There are such shop owners who bought the shops from the first owners (the ones who bought the shops at the municipality auction) and were extremely shocked to hear that they owed lakh of dues to the municipality.
Teams of around 12 personnel, including CMO Kushal Singh Dudwe arrived on foot at various premises with sealing materials and issued notices to shopkeepers directing them to deposit the dues at the earliest. Under the drive, three shops of Kusha Bhau Complex and Pandit Deendayal Complex located on the football ground were sealed on the spot due to non-payment of taxes of five to eight lakh rupees.
The CMO informed that the municipality has more than 150 shops in the city. 50 to 60 shopkeepers are those who have still not paid the installments of the shops and owe around Rs eight lakhs to the municipality. Many shop owners have rented out their shops to others for Rs 5000 to 7000 monthly, but have been reluctant to deposit Rs 1500 per month to municipality, he added. Such shopkeepers have outstanding arrears since 2007.
Now strict action is being taken to recover the amount from them. The shop owners who have bought the shops from those who bought the shops at the auction are in a fix as who shall pay the pending taxes worth several lakhs.