The Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) has decided to appoint members of the transgender community to help the civic body collect taxes from citizens. The move is aimed at bringing the transgender community into the mainstream of public life and help them live their lives with pride, dignity and self-respect. “We have taken the revolutionary step of appointing transgenders to collect property tax from citizens. I think this is a first-of-its-kind move taken by any civic body in Maharashtra,” PCMC Assistant Municipal Commissioner Nilesh Deshmukh told The Indian Express on Saturday.
The decision to allot the work of tax collection to members of the transgender community was taken at a standing committee meeting presided by Municipal Commissioner and administrator Rajesh Patil on Friday.
The PCMC has earlier appointed members of the transgender community as security guards, on green marshal squad and as members of the River Protection Force. They have also been appointed in civic gardens.The PCMC has also made a provision of ensuring pension for them.
PCMC has a bachat gat or self-help group of transgenders. “From the self-help group, we have picked a few people and formed a Shalaka Pathak or Shalaka Squad. Two such squads will be operational from August 15. The squads will be given incentives for achieving the set target,” he said.
Deshmukh said members of the transgender community will be appointed for a period of three months. “Depending on their performance, we will decide on giving them extensions,” he said.
Pimpri-Chinchwad has 5.77 lakh property owners and in the last four months, the civic body has collected Rs 400 crore in taxes.