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Property tax assessment to go online

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The Hindu                  09.01.2014

Property tax assessment to go online

Aloysius Xavier Lopez

System to be launched after Pongal by the revenue department.

Residents in Chennai will shortly have an option for online property tax assessment.

Residents of all 15 zones will be able to use the system to assess property tax for new buildings, for assessment of modified structures and special buildings, change of name on property tax records or revision of tax.

The system will be launched after Pongal by the revenue department and similar systems will gradually be adopted by other departments of the Corporation.

Such systems are expected to strengthen the Corporation’s monitoring mechanism and improve delivery of civic services.

A resident who submits an application at the public relation centres will receive a serial number for reference.

The application will be forwarded to the revenue official concerned on the same day after approval by the zonal official.

After field verification, the required process will be made through the system.

Officials including assistant revenue officers, zonal officers, regional deputy commissioners, deputy commissioner (revenue and finance) and Commissioner will screen all the data on a daily basis.

The reasons for any delay in processing applications will be communicated to senior officials regularly. The existing system for property tax assessment, changes or modifications has elicited poor response from residents because of delay in processing applications.

The bulk of the 11.5 lakh properties continue to deny the Corporation substantial revenues.

The system will also be a step towards improving revenue in the coming years. 


Chennai Corporation invites suggestions to make its website user-friendly

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The Times of India           24.12.2013

Chennai Corporation invites suggestions to make its website user-friendly

CHENNAI: Chennai Corporations has invited feedback and suggestions from people to make its website more user-friendly. The corporation will incorporate some of the suggestions when it revamps the website.

In an attempt to improve the online civic services, the corporation has added a section on its website (www.chennaicorporation.gov.in) where people can give feedback and suggestions.

"There is a gradual increase in the number of residents who are using the website for various civic services. So we wanted to revamp the website based on the suggestions from the public. Necessary changes will be made based on the feedback from the residents," a corporation official said.

The residents can click 'website survey' on the site and can answer the queries like: 'Did you find the information you are looking for on the website? Do you have any suggestions for the improvement of the website? Did you experience any problems during pavements of services?"

Sources say over 5.3 million people have visited the site since September 2008. The online services on the website have helped several non-resident Indians, who otherwise forced to go pillar-to-post for various civic services from corporation offices.
Corporation officials say the introduction of online services has bought transparency and also made it easier for the public.

"The residents no longer need to pay any bribe and wait for longer for services like birth certificates or death certificates," they said.

The civic body is trying to introduce an advance online parking booking system on the website to help motorists park their vehicles in designated places in the city. 


Techies develop apps for urban governance

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The Hindu              16.12.2013

Techies develop apps for urban governance

Karthik Subramanian

A mobile application that enables the gamification of garbage clearance — by providing bounty points to people who identify and later clear garbage — was named the best of 45 entries at the end of a two-day hackathon organised by the Commissionerate of Municipal Administration at Anna University on Sunday.

The event saw the participation of 190 software developers, who formed 45 teams, each envisioning, coding possible applications and later on presenting their code to enhance urban governance.

At the end of the marathon presentations made by the teams to a panel of senior officials of the State’s municipal administration department, the team of Vridachalem Pillay Subramaniam, Sesha Sendhil, Renuka Srinivasan, S. Thirunavukkarasu and Charumathi Govindane wowed the audience and panellists alike by completely re-thinking the aspect of garbage clearance in their app ‘TrashIt’. Such gamification apps are very popular in mobile ecosystems like Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS.

Senior officials, including Chandrakant Kamble, commissioner of municipal administration, Vikram Kapur, commissioner of Chennai Corporation and Sudeep Jain, chairman and managing director of Tamil Nadu Energy Development Agency, said the hackathon was an eye-opener in many ways.

“The problems that the coders are addressing are old. But they are looking at them with a fresh perspective. This helps us too,” said Mr. Kamble. Mr. Kapur said some ideas presented by the coders — including an app that would monitor garbage clearance — were already developed by the civic agency using others developers and were being used at a beta testing stage.

Several municipal commissioners were also present when the coders made their presentations at the end of the hackathon.

Another application that won kudos was developed by a team of coders – Arun Kumar Ramanathan, S. Arun Kumar, Rajeswari Krishnakumar, Ganapathi Subramanian V. and Sudhakar Rayavaram, called ‘Know Your City’ that allowed a user to locate public facilities of their Corporation through a map. This app was named the second-best app of the event.

The ‘Code for Urban Governance’ Hackathon, jointly organised by the Commissionerate for Municipal Administration and ThoughtWorks, was in spirit similar to the hackathon organised by the Centre’s Planning Commission.

All the project descriptions and the codes developed at the hackathon are to be released as open source material. They can later be accessed at the event’s wikipage at Github, the online resource for coders.

Competition was part of hackathon at Anna University; apps on garbage clearance, facilities map, earn accolades.


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