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Bangalore Municpality preparing database of properties using GIS

Bangalore: To counter criticism of not being able to bring all the properties under the tax net, the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has started preparing a database of all of them in its jurisdiction using the Geographical Information System (GIS).

The Karnataka State Electronic Development Corporation (Keonics), a State Government undertaking, which has been entrusted with the responsibility of preparing the multi-purpose GIS-based database, is expected to complete the work by January-February 2009.

Preliminary data
Already, a team of experts, data collectors and field surveyors have compiled preliminary data of properties in about 200 sq. km. in the northern part of the city (Yelahanka), and other areas falling under the Byatarayanapura zone, during last one month.

It will take another two to three months to compile data pertaining to the remaining 600 sq. km or so of the city.

How it works
Initially, the experts will generate vector maps of different areas using a high resolution satellite digital map of the entire BBMP area and then mark individual properties on such maps.

Later, the field surveyors will visit the particular locality and cross-verify the details in the map and the actual status of the properties.

A unique identity number, door number, detailed address, owner’s name, electricity and water meter numbers, measurement of site and built-up area, number of floors, usage, year of construction and photograph are among the details of each property that will be part of the database.

At present, primary details such as usage of property, approximate measurement and number of floors will be compiled and the database is generated. Subsequently, details of property tax returns filed by the owners will be entered with the help of the software being specially developed by the National Informatics Centre (NIC) for BBMP’s property tax management.

Zonal regulations
The software will have pre-loaded information on zonal regulations and other details, and will alert the officials about any deviation, according to U.A. Vasanth Rao, BBMP Deputy Commissioner (Resources). These details would be useful to the BBMP to identify those who avoid paying property tax and those who fail to make complete disclosure of their properties, Mr. Rao said and added that returns filed by many under the self-assessment scheme (SAS) earlier were found to be incorrect.

Checking discrepancy
The GIS system would now act as a tool for BBMP to check this discrepancy to a large extent.

The database will have provision to update the details by the officials concerned and hence any changes in the nature of the property such as change of khata, plan etc., can be incorporated without any difficulty. This will help BBMP to have complete information about properties.

When the entire database would be ready, the BBMP would be able to facilitate the public to access the information by making it available through its website, Mr. Rao said.

Future use
These digital satellite maps, said Madhu Shetty, a software engineer who is coordinating with the BBMP on behalf of Keonics, used for property mapping could also be made use of in future for planning road maintenance like determining width of footpath, road, median and the like, besides determining the slope of the terrain for storm water drains.