The honest tax-payers of Hulakoti

MODEL HOUSE: The gram panchayat office in Hulakoti, Gadag taluk. DH Photo

Hulakoti, a village with a population of 10,000 and located at a short distance from Gadag, has all the qualifications to be a model gram panchayat.

Bill collectors virtually have become jobless here as people come on their own to pay up taxes.  The cash counter at the GP office registers a collection of at least Rs 10,000 a day towards taxes. Eighty per cent of the Rs 24 lakh- annual target is realised on time. The delayed payments are received in a span of about four months. Timely payment of taxes ensures payment of salary to the staff on time, something unusual at the gram panchayats.
Three clerical staff, eight valvemen, a ‘D’ group employee and ten municipal workers are paid their salary within the first two days of every month.

Water supply

Hulakoti gets water every day while the residents in the nearby district headquarter (Gadag) get the supply once in 20 days. Every village resident gets on an average of 100 litre water.

The comparative abundance has been drawing people to Hulakoti from Gadag. Many have shifted to the village from Gadag only because of regular water supply.

The panchayat has maintained a complaint book to enable people register their grievances. And the complaints are acted upon immediately.

“Village development should not be completely dependent on government grants. Better services could be provided at the panchayat level if people pay tax on time. Hulakoti residents have realised this truth and are cooperating accordingly,” panchayat development officer C R Mundaragi told Deccan Herald.

Obviously, the people of Hulakoti have found a surefire solution for the ills plaguing gram panchayats.

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