Staff from the BMC’s assessment and collection department are an unhappy lot. and have voiced against the civic body's decision to assign them to pandemic related work. After an exhausting three to four months of chasing the annual target and scrambling to collect the property tax arrears from defaulters, the employees and staff of the assessment and collection department have been assigned duties at ward war rooms, while a few have been put on food and ration distribution duty.
The unhappy employees of the property tax department have said the civic administration’s decision makes their work profile ambiguous and that this is happening when their assessment department needs more hands. These employees expected that they would get a few weeks to relax and concentrate on assessment and inspection of properties for the next fiscal year after months of tiring efforts. But these employees were immediately assigned pandemic related work.
With rising numbers of Covid-19 patients and as the protocol for assigning beds have been streamlined and de-centralised the civic body is forced to divert staff to strengthen the ward war rooms. Hence to fulfil this requirement, staff from other departments have to be diverted. Many from the civic assessment and collection department have been assigned to the ward war room.
"This is a national duty. Hence, we have to do it. However, whenever there is an extra load, our department is the only one to suffer and share the load. In 2017 too we protested after some of our staff was assigned to the general administration department after Octroi was abolished. In this case, this is a national duty, should be assigned and shared by all the departments on a rotational basis, why just us. Also for food and ration distribution, they can get staff from the state government and rationing department," said staff from the assessment and collection department.
"Currently, it is a slack period for the property tax department. Last year too, we had assigned them to various areas for pandemic related work. Hence this year too we decided to shift a few hands from there to pandemic related duty. Staff from other departments will be shifted to pandemic related duties too," said a senior BMC official.