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New software hits revenues for corporations

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The Times of India       16.11.2017   

New software hits revenues for corporations

Coimbatore: After the commissionerate of municipal administration implemented the new integrated and centralized software - Urban Tree, the revenue collection of the Coimbatore Corporation went down by Rs 10 crore in October in comparison to the same period last year.

It is not just Coimbatore. The revenue collection of the Madurai Corporation also dropped by Rs 16 crore in the same period. It was worst in the case of the Trichy Corporation as it was not able to collect any revenue due to the problems in the software. This software was introduced across 12 corporations in the state two months ago. It was introduced in Trichy as a pilot project in September.

The Madurai Corporation earned revenue of Rs 52.64 crore in October, 2016. But this year, it collected only Rs 36.82 crore. Similarly, the Coimbatore Corporation made revenue of Rs 28 crore in October, 2016. Only Rs 19.5 crore has been collected in the same period this year.

In Trichy, it was not a smooth run. "Delay in migrating to the common web-based software has affected basic services to the citizens that include issuance of birth and death certificates. The issue has been unresolved resulting in the accumulation of over 2,000 applications for birth certificates alone in all the four zones of the city corporation. The process, otherwise, takes not more than a week or 10 days," said an official of the Trichy Corporation.

The Coimbatore Corporation could not issue a single birth or death certificate in October, resulting in loss of several lakhs in revenue. "More than the revenue, public have been affected badly," said a corporation official.

The sad part is that the state government has invested nearly Rs 25 crore on the software. Owing to its failure, all corporations have made representations to switch back to their older software. Activists said that similar software was proposed and scrapped in Coimbatore a decade ago. The same software is now being implemented at an escalated cost across the state.

This software was supposed to simplify the process and allow public to apply for services from their homes. But just like any new system, migrating to this system without enough infrastructure facility and expertise has taken a toll on the residents.

All the corporations were asked to integrate to this software so that it could be overviewed from Chennai at the same time. The processes were also supposed to be simpler.

"Residents may not even have to go to the corporation office if the software implementation had been smooth. But due to server issues and other problems, corporations are unable to provide any services," said an official. The Coimbatore Corporation has already switched back to the older system.

Madurai Corporation commissioner Aneesh Sekhar said that after Coimbatore Corporation's withdrawal, the system has become quicker. "Migrating to any new system will have its challenges. We are facing some issues. We are hopeful that it will be resolved soon," he told TOI.

The commissioner of municipal administration G Prakash could not be reached despite various attempts for a comment. This software will provide a common interface for 29 services of all corporations. But server issues have caused a lot of trouble.