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Indian municipality to undertake digital camera survey for new area-based property tax system

Hyderabad, India, 17 July 2006: The Municipal Corporation of Hyderabad (MCH), India, is planning to use digital cameras for the classification of residential and commercial properties. The exercise, likely to be launched early next year, will be a precursor for implementation of the new area-based property tax system from next financial year beginning on April 1.

Tenders are to be opened to select the agency for taking up the survey to record digital data that will take about four months time. This data will be combined with spatial data obtained through the GIS to get a complete picture of properties.

Additional Commissioner (Finance and IT) B. Ramesh Babu insists the new system will only rationalise collection of property tax in the sense that correct estimates can be made of the plinth area and the rental value of properties. “We are not thinking of increasing rates. We are aiming at fair assessment of properties, residential or commercial for which physical verification is a must,” he said while explaining the rationale of using digital cameras.

The municipal corporation has announced formation of 47 zones and 140 sub-zones without tinkering with the prevailing administrative structure for the new tax system. The divisions are based on availability of civic amenities, educational institutions, medicare, markets, etc.

The National Remote Sensing Agency (NRSA) is preparing base maps and 90 per cent of the work has been completed. It will give complete data of each area like roads, water pipelines, drains, power lines, buildings, etc.