May 6, 2009 3:35:21 am
The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) came out with a statement on Monday that it will crack down on tax defaulters with ‘immediate’ effect. But when people visited the ward offices to pay the tax,they could not do so due to ‘system failure’ at the offices.
Despite three visits to PMC offices across the city on Monday,S S Gill,managing director,Property Bridge Pvt Ltd,could not make his payments. Reason: the server of the PMC payment acceptance centres was down and the payments was not accepted,as they could not issue a digital receipt against the payment.
“First I went to Bibvewadi ward office in the afternoon to pay the property tax. After waiting for a long time in the queue,I was told that the bill could not be accepted as the server was down. The staff told me that a receipt could not be issued because of the server problem. Thereafter,I went to Tilak Road and Shivaji Nagar ward offices,but even there the server was down. It is quite tiring as the summer heat saps all your energy, Gill said. He said the PMC should make alternative arrangements to accept the bills in such cases. When such things happen,they should issue manual receipts, he said.
But Gill was not the only one to go through these hardships. Other people,standing in the queue at ward offices in the city,also could not pay their tax on Monday owing to the technical snag. Sagar Deshmukh,of Sakalnagar,who went to pay his tax at the Citizens Facilitation Centre (CFC),could not pay his dues. I could not make the payment as I was told that there was some technical problem.
PMC’s Tax Department chief Vilas Kanade admitted that there was a technical hitch on Monday. He,however,denied that such problems occurred frequently. It is true that the server was down on Monday afternoon,which was restored by evening. We have a system,wherein people are issued receipts only digitally. We cannot give manual receipts and create problems later,as the digital record might not show the payment done, he said,adding that the PMC owed an apology to those who faced problem on Monday.
Kanade and other officials held a meeting on Tuesday to take measures to avoid such incidents. The contract for running the CFCs has been given to a private firm and there are problems between the firm and its staff over salary,hence,there is dearth of staff. We have decided to appoint a direct employee of PMC at the CFC to assist people in times of need, Kanade added.
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