The BBMP will hand over to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) the investigation into alleged misappropriation of funds by revenue officials in five wards of Rajarajeshwari (R R) Nagar zone.
The Palike was ordered to hand over the investigation by District In-charge Minister R Ramalinga Reddy during a review meeting held at R R Nagar on Saturday. The five wards where misappropriation was reported are Kottigepalya, Rajarajeshwari Nagar, Jnana Bharathi, Doddabidarakallu and Herohalli.
Speaking to Express, BBMP Commissioner M Lakshminarayana said they had selected only five wards as more complaints of irregularities had been received from there. “This will also allow us to get a picture of irregularities by tax inspectors in other wards too. By handing over the investigation to CID, we can instil fear among officials,” he said. Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the review meeting, the Minister declared that every property in Bangalore should come under the tax net. “We are conducting review meetings every week in each zone. Rajarajeshwari Nagar is one of the largest constituencies in Bangalore where there are more houses and other properties,” he said.Reddy noted that there could be similar cases in other wards and zones. He advised the public to inform the BBMP Commissioner or the Mayor if they came across irregularities and warned that such cases will also be handed over the CID. “More misappropriation cases could have occurred in newly-added zones,” he said.
Meanwhile, revenue officials complained that in Herohalli sub-division, 13 assistant revenue officers (ARO) had been deputed in just one year. They claimed that anti-social elements enter ward offices and create a ruckus. After hearing out the officials, Reddy directed the zonal commissioner concerned to install CCTV cameras in such sensitive ward offices. Some months ago, the BBMP had transferred more than 400 tax inspectors working in the same wards.
‘Target More Revenue’
Commissioner Lakshminarayana said officials in R R Nagar zone claimed to have collected `55 crore against a target of `95 crore. “However, there are more than 13,000 properties out of the tax net and there are more than 16,000 properties that are yet to get property identification numbers (PID). Apart from this, there are 938 apartment complexes and 639 commercial complexes that are out of the tax net. If we include all these properties, we can collect more than `200 crore in taxes,” he said.
He directed officials to issue PID numbers within one month, pointing out that people will pay taxes once the numbers are issued.
Mayor Loses Cool
Lashing out at revenue officials for not being serious about their job, Mayor B S Sathyanarayana declared that they did not have the inclination to collect taxes from defaulters. “I have been telling tax inspectors and others to visit houses of 25 defaulters daily. But, you are making no effort to collect dues and to identify properties that are out of the tax net,” he said.
He ordered officials to work on the weekend and warned of action for failure to comply.
Plaints Galore at Review Meet
■ Single demand draft number given to 60 different properties
■ DDs collected from taxpayers are given to contractors directly
■ As many as 13 AROs deputed to Herohalli sub-division in the past one year
■ BBMP collected residential tax for a community hall at R R Nagar
Properties in R R Nagar
■ No. of properties as per GIS: 2,13,501
■ Properties with PID Numbers: 1,96,955
■ PID Numbers not issued: 16,546
■ Properties out of tax net: 13,019