Afshan Yasmeen

The proposal on digital maps of 71 wards

kept in abeyance

Rs. 54,000 spent on mapping each of

the 29 wards under first phase

BANGALORE: The Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) may have spent Rs. 37.8 lakh on the digital mapping of 29 wards in the city. But it is yet to effectively use the digital data for the purposes it was meant for.

That is why the second phase of the project in which the remaining 71 wards will be digitally mapped has been kept in abeyance.

Core system

When the project was planned three years ago, the idea was to implement the Geographical Information System (GIS) as the core system for municipal services provided to citizens.

It was meant to provide better administration, mobilise revenue, detect unauthorised buildings, tap tax evaders, develop the urban poor community, sanction licenses and building plan approvals and monitor municipal infrastructure.

But except for using GIS in the mapping of properties by the Revenue Department, the other user departments, including Engineering, Health and Horticulture, have hardly tapped the benefits of the project.

Deadline set

BBMP sources told The Hindu that Commissioner S. Subramanya has given a month’s deadline to the heads of the departments to start using the information effectively.

“What is the purpose of going ahead with the second phase by spending more than Rs. 1lakh on each sq km when the existing information of 29 wards itself is not being used?

That apart, there is another proposal to include 45 more wards carved out of the newly added areas in the second phase.

The priority is to use the available data effectively now,” sources said.

The BBMP had spent Rs. 54,000 to map each of the 70 sq km of the 29 wards in the first phase.

Revenue model

Although Mr. Subramanya said that the tender process for the second phase was on, sources said there was a view that the project should be limited only for developing a revenue model. \

“We are in a dilemma whether the second phase should capture all the 15 features of mapping that were included in the first phase,” the sources said. These features include road, properties, storm water drains, cross drainage works (culverts and bridges), streetlights, trees, public taps, water tanks, hand pumps and borewells, toilets and urinals, parking lots, bus shelters, traffic signals, medians, pavements and shoulder drains.

“As the cost of the project will only increase if more features are tapped, BBMP is having second thoughts on whether to include all these in the second phase. Now the project depends on how best the officials will use the information,” sources said.

A useful proposal

However, the Commissioner justified that the information had helped the civic body in mapping all properties and thereby augmenting revenue. “We have details on the number of tax payers, the kind of properties, their dimension and location.

This will help us in detecting tax evaders and bring them under the tax net,” he added.