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MCD to reap IT benefits in a big way

By Lalit K. Jha

NEW DELHI, JULY 19. After two years of groundwork, the Municipal Corporation of Delhi seems to be ready to use information technology in a big way.

Reaping the benefits of the IT revolution of the past decade, the civic body has decided to use information technology for providing better civic amenities and facilities to people. To achieve this end, the MCD has been able to involve the best IT companies of the country, including Fortune 500 Infosys.

The latest to be included in the civic body's list of such initiatives is Project Sharda, which is due to be inaugurated by the Delhi Lieutenant-Governor, B.L.Joshi, later this month. Through specially developed computer aided learning centres, the MCD would impart computer education to students of Class III, IV and V in about 1,000 schools.

On July 21, the MCD is due to sign a memorandum of understanding with the E-Governments Foundation of the Infosys for creating a grievance monitoring system. The Infosys CEO, Nandan M. Nilekani, has shown personal interest in this project.

Next in line is the "Property Tax Information System" that would facilitate people to calculate their house tax online and deposit it using Internet payment gateway. The civic body has tied up with a number of banks in this regard. This is likely to be completed within six months. It is also linked to GIS-based system, which would be taken up simultaneously to digitise the property maps of the Capital.

Taking another lead in the country, the MCD is developing a unique GIS/GPS-based solid waste transportation management system. It would electronically monitor the movement of garbage trucks and weighing of garbage deposited at sanitary landfill sites. This would lead to paperless and transparent system of billing.

Early this month, the MCD tied up with the prestigious C-DAC for the development of Employee Information System. Under the system, all the 12 Zones would have a data station which will monitor the employee status in real time basis including pay, transfer, deductions, vigilance cases and terminal benefits. This would take six months.

Having already got national recognition from the Registrar General of India with regard to digitisation of births and deaths, the MCD is moving ahead to develop a web-based system to monitor public health status of people particularly notifiable diseases. Further, the Hospital Information System has been launched at the Swami Dayanand Hospital in Shahdara and is likely to cover all its hospitals in future.

The development of the Procurement and Inventory Management System with the help of ICICI Infotech is expected to bring in transparency in the entire system and also make the tendering system online. The MCD has taken an initiative to create a database of properties of the Capital. Under the system all the properties would be assigned a Unique Property Index Code, besides having multiple applications including mapping of property using GIS, follow up of sanction plans, monitoring misuse of property, keeping track of owners and tenants and development of property rights system which is currently missing in Delhi.

Having already taken a decision to open up the Citizens Services Bureau in each of the 134 wards of the Capital, the MCD has also decided to open a GIS and CAD Centre to train its engineers on use of latest technology in urban planning. All this is expected to change the face of the Capital in the next couple of years.

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