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e-Governance Award for BBMP’s PID System !

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The World e-Governments Organisation of Cities and Local Governments (WeGO) will award the Palike for its GIS based Property Identification (PID) Number system on November 12 in Spain.

Speaking to reporters on Friday, Mayor D Venkatesh Murthy said more than 150 city corporations had applied for the award. “The BBMP has won the award under e-governance category,” he said.

The mayor along with Deputy Mayor L Srinivas, present and former chairman (Taxation and Finance) Muneendra Kumar and Manjunath Raju, IT advisor to Commissioner Sheshadri, will go to Barcelona to receive the award next month.

For the full report in the New Indian Express, click here.

Now, the Property Tax SAS scheme put through by the BBMP, way back in 2005, was certainly a creditable job, as also the subsequent digitisation of the computation, and collection processes. But, even a non-tech person like me has pointed out enough glitches in them, from time to time, which though went largely ignored. Besides, the Civil Society had been repeatedly pointing out to the many loop-holes in the system, whereby over 50% of the properties remained uncovered, resulting in revenue collections of less than 50% of the potential figure.

In such a scenario, the announcement of the launch of the UPOR (unique property ownership record) scheme for urban property, by the Revenue Department, in November last year (check this), was generally welcomed by the Civil Society. A susequent news report had stated that "with the new PID system, number of properties identified in Bangalore has increased from 11 lakh to 16.19 lakh; one cannot hide their property from BBMP; BBMP which is collecting Rs 1,200 crore from property tax is expected to increase the amount to Rs 3000 crore for all properties".

But, for all that, the property tax collection this year too, remained in the earlier mode, with PID numbers still remaining tagged to the old ward numbers. The new scheme as such is yet to be tried out in the field. But, for all that, when BBMP is selected for an award, questions begin to arise. Besides, even if it turns out successful, shouldn't the recognition for it be granted to the Revenue Department, which put the scheme together, rather than the BBMP? When a BBMP, which is otherwise in the news only for the wrong things, gets an award, it is only natural that eyebrows go up.

Apparently, BBMP has been mandated to keep applying for awards, so that each new Mayor (along-with his favourites) gets an opportunity to go on a foreign jaunt, using the excuse. And, there are enough organisations across the world who facilitate this, like this Korea based WeGO (World e-Governments Organisation of Cities and Local Governments - web-site accessible here). At least, this one appears to be genuine, though, I am not sure the scheme whatever is worthy of any award. Whatever, perhaps the citizens can't hold any grudge against the lot for going on this trip, unlike in the case of the MLAs' pure pleasure trip to Argentina. The question that arises however is why does it take government organisations in a city, that has earned a reputation across the world for being amongst the foremost provider of outsurced IT services, so many years to set these up.

Better late than never, one may say. But, at least now can we move forward full speed?

Muralidhar Rao

Comments

silkboard's picture

deserves a pat, at least on this one

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57 users have liked.

BBMP sucks, no doubt, but I thought the property tax and PID system made life easy for many. It worked reliably for me, have been paying property tax with ease through the online system.

For once, BBMP should get some credit for devising a system that worked, and made life easier for users through use of IT.

The system can no doubt be better.

  • I can't edit my own records if there is an error in name or address.
  • interface for calculating tax could be better
  • Email/SMS reminder on "property tax due"
  • instead of a call center number for help, an online chat system could be better. Anyone hitting into an error (payment, or locating a tax record) could be prompted for help through online chat

But, it works, and has been used by many citizens, has saved everyone the time and hassles of going to BBMP offices. Some pat please when good (going by the low benchmark for egovernance systems around us) work is done.

Naveen's picture

PID - Good system

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59 users have liked.

Yeah, I use the online payment feature too & find it most convenient.

I think address alterations cannot be left open as people would misuse it, as with everything else - so, if any alterations are necessary, one would have to get it done from them.



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