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Fresh push to e-governance in municipal bodies

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The Hindu        18.08.2014 

Fresh push to e-governance in municipal bodies

Will the Nagercoil municipality or the Vellore municipal corporation be able to provide its services using mobile applications?

The answer will be in the affirmative once e-governance plans of the municipal administration authorities fructify. And, the days are not far off for various urban local bodies in Tamil Nadu to offer a comprehensive set of services through information technology, says a senior official.

About 10 days ago, the Municipal Administration and Water Supply (MAWS) Department issued an order, giving the go-ahead for a project to implement a State-level solution for e-governance in all urban local bodies. However, this initiative will not include Chennai Corporation, which has a separate plan.

On a pilot basis, the project will be carried out in the Coimbatore municipal corporation and a few municipalities. After studying the outcome, it will be rolled out in the rest of the State. A sum of Rs. 18 crore has been sanctioned.

The proposal originally forms part of the National Mission Mode Project on e-governance, a component of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission that awaits an overhaul under the new BJP government.

To carry out the project, the Commissionerate of Municipal Administration has chosen a systems integrator: Bahwan CyberTek, a global provider of software products and solutions. PwC has been made the project management consultant.

The Comptroller and Auditor-General, in its report for the year ended March 31, 2013, pulled up five municipal corporations for the tardy progress in computerisation during 2005-2013.

The latest project envisages web-based applications and interface with geographical information system (GIS). Different modules are being developed for a host of functions of the local bodies such as property tax, water supply, building permission, solid waste management and grievance redress. Other modules, for schools management and hospital management systems, will also be formed.

As for the fate of the existing level of computerisation in different urban local bodies, the official says this will be absorbed into the proposed e-governance regime. The main idea is to improve service delivery to the public. The other objectives include increasing the transparency in the processes; ensuring seamless flow of information across all levels of the local bodies; and increasing their productivity.

On the progress of the project, the official says modules for property tax collection and birth and death certificates will be ready by January. The entire project is expected to be completed in a year.


Corporation assessment officers get tablet computing devices

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The Hindu              12.02.2014

Corporation assessment officers get tablet computing devices

Modern method:Mayor S.M. Velusamy handing over a tablet computing device to an assessment officer, to facilitate tax collection and follow other procedures:- Photo: Special ARRANGEMENT
Modern method:Mayor S.M. Velusamy handing over a tablet computing device to an assessment officer, to facilitate tax collection and follow other procedures:- Photo: Special ARRANGEMENT

Taking forward its e-governance measures, the Coimbatore Corporation on Tuesday handed over tablet computing devices to property tax assessment officers.

On addition to this, the civil body also released tax assessment books and smart cards containing QR (quick response) codes.


Explaining the project that was being launched, Deputy Commissioner S. Sivarasu said that the civic body had given five tablet computing devices with pre-loaded applications to as many assessment officers, who, while assessing buildings for property tax would use the specific application.

This had been done on a pilot basis.

The officers would enter the measurements, location, road, floor and roof types and then click pictures of the buildings so that the application generates report for use by the officials at the Corporation main office. It would also generate a new assessment number.

This would reduce the need for paper work and also generate new assessment report within minutes of the entry of data.

Besides, it would be accurate too.

Mr. Sivarasu said that the Corporation had released new rent books and cards to those who had taken on monthly rent the 2,944 shops. By pointing their smart mobile computing device on the QR codes, the tenants could know their payment history as well as the dues.

Once the five assessment officers offer their feedback, the civic body would make the necessary modifications to the software and then hand over the tablet computing devices to the remaining 58 assessment officers.


The Corporation had recently introduced a slew of features like online payment of tax and publication of reserve site details on its website, to bring about transparency and introduce e-governance.


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. 


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