GIS mapping of properties likely after Lok Sabha polls


Despite talks about it in past six years, civic body yet to undertake it in city

The Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) plans to take up GIS mapping of all properties in the city after Parliamentary elections, in an effort to increase its revenue through property tax.

GIS mapping of properties has been done across municipalities by the initiative of the Commissioner and Director of Municipal Administration, but despite talk about it for over six years, it is yet to be carried out in Hyderabad.

Scope of the drive is to geo-reference the coordinates of each property, tag them with details of ownership, address, extent and tax details, and integrate them with the Registration department data consisting of details of encumbrances and disputes, if any.

Though successive commissioners have talked about GIS-mapping, so far, no action has been taken on this front, apparently due to the State government’s policy decision.

However, saddled with the responsibility of executing large projects beyond its means and left to fend for itself with little support from the State government, GHMC is left with no other avenue than to improve its own revenue to meet the needs. Besides, its latest entry into the stock market has forced the corporation to improve its creditworthiness for issue of bonds.

Despite efforts, property tax assessees for the municipal corporation remain at just about 15.6 lakh currently. About 10,000 properties are added every year on an average, say officials.

Meeting targets

Targets for the property tax collection are attempted to be met, not only through collection of current year’s tax, but also through arrears and interest or penalty thereof.

Last year, the corporation observed that the number of electricity connections in Hyderabad and Ranga Reddy districts were close to 40 lakh, far higher than the properties being assessed.

An algorithm based on the data obtained from discoms and water board discovered 13 lakh electricity connections and 5.6 lakh water connections not matching with any of the GHMC records.

The GIS-based mapping of properties yielded good results when carried out in Bengaluru and Nagpur, besides 72 municipalities of Telangana, an official informed.

Owing to elections, the corporation may fall short of its ₹1,500-crore targeted property tax collection this year. As on March 12, the collection stood at ₹1,073 crore, of which ₹438 crore was collected during the first month of assessment as part of the ‘Early Bird’ scheme.

Khairatabad Zone topped the collection with ₹285 crore, while Charminar Zone recorded an appalling ₹65 crore.

Last year, the collections stood at ₹1,327 crore, a little less than the ₹1,400 crore target.

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Printable version | Jan 19, 2020 12:37:55 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/gis-mapping-of-properties-likely-after-lok-sabha-polls/article26525890.ece

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