Karnataka, India, 16 April 2006: A first-of-its-kind GIS based tax collection project would be operational soon in the Indian state of Karnataka. Across 57 urban local bodies (ULBs) including seven City Municipal Councils (CMCs) and one Town Municipal Council (TMC) of Bangalore, this hitech system will be adopted for tax collection. A senior official at the Directorate of Municipal Administration (DMA) says, “our pilot project in Byatarayanapura CMC proved very effective and now we are ready with the required property data in two ULBs – Kengeri and Mahadevapura (Whitefield). Shortly, we will be implementing this system in Kengeri and then in Mahadevapura”. The project, under the banner of E-governance Foundation, is costing Rs 7 crores and is expected to revolutionise property tax collection.
The software for GIS is provided by Infosys, free of cost. A survey conducted by the DMA as part of the project revealed that taxes were collected for only 11,260 properties in Kengeri and 35,000 in Bommanahalli, while there are 30,000 and 78,000 properties in these localities respectively. While the revenue generated through property tax stands at Rs 120 crores as of now, the collection after implementing GIS is expected to go up to Rs 240 crores. On the status of the project, he said, “we have over 500 engineers working rigorously to collect data related to properties. Senior programmers and nodal officers are coordinating with them. Every week we take stock of the situation and prepare a ranking report that gives the details of percentages of work being carried out. As of now, 80 percent of the work is over and in about three months the data should be up in the server”.
The database will have a separate entity with a unique identity for each property. All the collateral information on a property will be linked to the property identity. This would include tax information. Once in four years a survey exercise will be carried out and if any mismatch occurs in the data it will be rectified immediately. “What actually happens in the end is that everything will be on record and structured. Names of streets and identification of each of the buildings will be at fingertips”, he says. For example, whenever a building owner submits a self-assessment scheme form, the authority will refer to the property register software. The software will show all the details of the property to help the officer concerned evaluate the submission.