Water bills adding up to over Rs. 9 crore are pending to be collected by the Mangalore City Corporation even as the civic body has announced that it in a few days will launch a special drive to collect the dues.
According to sources in the corporation, 356 cases have been listed in which each bill amount due was more than Rs. 50,000. The MCC has to collect Rs. 5.06 crore from those cases.
They said in addition, it has listed out 2,230 cases in which each bill amount due were more than Rs. 10,000. The corporation would have to collect more than Rs. 4 crore from them. But the officials are hopeful of collecting only Rs. 4 crore as the Corporation has, sources claimed, itself to blame for the remaining bills adding up to Rs. 5 crore.
For example, they said that Rs. 14.37 lakh was due from Rajkamal Circus that had pitched tent in the city more than one-and-half decade ago. It was noticed in 2003 that the bill was being generated against the circus company even after it left the city. By the time flaw was noticed, the bills added up to Rs. 14.37 lakh and shown as due. Only a part of the payment was actually owed by the company, it is said. MCC hardly knows the current address of the circus company. Many officials in the water bill section who were handling the files then have retired now.
Likewise records show that Rs. 4.48 lakh was due from exhibitions organised at Nehru Maidan even before Karavali Utsav started on exhibition grounds in Lalbagh after 1990s.
In another case a person named Purushottam owed Rs. 15 lakh near Ashraya Colony in Pachchanady. But sources said the person who owned land there had converted it into sites sold them and not in the locality. Those who have built houses in those sites are enjoying separate water connections.
There were many similar cases, they said adding that bills above Rs. 10,000 mainly belonged to individuals, apartments, and industries which could be collected.