Narayankhed Municipality officials in Telangana said that reports about a 58-year-old woman passing away due to shock over dumping of garbage before her home in Telangana were false. Officials clarified that they had indeed dumped garbage on December 15 before a commercial establishment, owned by M Narayana, who had allegedly not paid property tax for close to seven years. However, they added that the woman had been ill for several years and her death was unrelated to the incident.
Several news reports suggested that the woman, identified as Bhumavva, passed away on December 20 due to ‘shock over the humiliation’ of garbage being dumped in front of a shop near her home. “This is not true,” said Ch Raju, bill collector with the Narayankhed Municipality, adding that the woman had been ill for several years and was undergoing treatment at a hospital.
“The family had even collected funds from the Chief Minister's Relief Fund (CMRF) for her treatment. She was living with paralysis and passed away on December 16. The issue of non-payment of tax by Narayana has been going on for close to seven years. We took the drastic decision as he had levelled abuses against the bill collectors. We dumped the garbage on December 15 and cleared the garbage the very next morning. We have also bleached the area,” he added.
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Narayanan’s family resides behind the shops and the garbage was dumped only before the shops, the officer insisted, adding that the Narayankhed municipality had been patient with the defaulter for seven years and repeatedly requested him to pay up. “We told him we won’t even file a case for non-payment if he paid up. Things escalated when he began abusing the bill collectors,” said Raju.
Another bill collector, Madan Lal, told TNM that on December 15, the municipality had also filed a police complaint against the defaulter. “After we filed a police complaint, Narayana had agreed to pay the taxes but he has support from local politicians, who held a dharna before the shops. They are creating an issue,”.
When asked why Narayana refused to pay taxes for the past seven years, Lal said, “He says there is no road or proper drainage near his shop, and asks why he should pay taxes.”