January 22, 2022 11:21:29 am
IN A unique move aimed at encouraging people to shun vaccine hesitancy and clear their dues at the same time, the South Dum Dum Municipality in North Kolkata has announced a 25 per cent discount on pending property taxes for residents who are fully vaccinated.
“There are a number of people who haven’t paid their property taxes. The discount scheme will encourage citizens to clear their pending property tax dues,” Debashis Banerjee, member, Board of Administrators (Health & Public Health), South Dum Dum municipality, said.
According to sources, 12-15 per cent of people residing in areas under the South Dum Dum municipality have not taken their second vaccine dose yet.
“No municipality has come up with such an initiative yet. This discount will be given only on pending property tax. People have this tendency of not paying property taxes for years and at the time of selling property or mutation, they seek rebate. So we have decided to give rebate of 25 per cent on pending property tax for families who are fully vaccinated. This will serve two purposes. Firstly, it will encourage people to take full dose [of vaccine] and secondly it will help us clear dues, which run into crores,” added Banerjee.
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Banerjee, who is also Member Board of Administrator (Health & Public Health) of South Dum Dum municipality, said since the vaccination drive for teenagers began earlier this month, in the initial few days only four-five students aged between 15 and 17 years had been vaccinated daily in his ward (number 15) till date. But after he clubbed all the seven clubs of his ward and the day he announced “gifts” such as football, sports items, cricket kit for students at vaccination camp, there was a substantial increase in the number of youngsters taking the vaccine.
“We completed 100 percent vaccination among students in one single day by offering such gifts in return. Hopefully, this idea of rebate in pending property tax, proposed by Minister Bratya Basu, will also be fruitful”, he added.
Chief Administrator of South Dum Dum municipality Panchu Roy said, “Our outstanding tax amount is huge now. Many citizens have to give over Rs 10,000. The municipality tried its best to collect the outstanding amount but failed. Now, we are trying to give this offer so that, people will be encouraged to pay their taxes.”
So far, 11,74,52,506 people have been vaccinated against Covid-19 in West Bengal of which 4,81,13,314 have received both doses. On Friday, 7,36,095 more doses were added to the tally of vaccines administered in the state.
The state, meanwhile, registered 9,154 new Covid-19 cases over the past 24 hours, 1,805 less than Thursday’s count, said a bulletin issued by the health department. The fresh cases pushed the state’s tally to 19,49,074.
The state also saw 35 Covid-related fatalities, with Howrah district accounting for the most at 11 deaths. The fresh fatalities took the overall toll to 20,265, the bulletin said, adding that Darjeeling recorded five deaths, while Kolkata and the North 24 Parganas logged four deaths each.
The state capital accounted for 1,375 new cases, while the North 24 Parganas logged 1,371 infections.
Over the last 24 hours, 19,112 patients were cured of the infection, taking the total recoveries in the state to 17,93,993. The discharge rate currently stands at 92.04 per cent.
The active cases numbered 1,34,816 on Friday, the bulletin stated, adding that 72,738 samples were tested for Covid-19 since Thursday taking the cumulative count to 2,26,23,946. The case positivity rate is at 12.58 per cent while 5.45 per cent of Covid beds are currently occupied in the state. A total of 1,31,568 Covid patients are in home isolation, the bulletin added.
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