Sanchaya misuse rocks Ramanattukara too

Even as the Sanchaya password scam is rocking the Kozhikode Corporation, a similar issue has come up in the Ramanattukara Municipality, another urban local body in the district.

The Municipal Secretary had recently filed a complaint with the Assistant Commissioner of Police at Feroke that her digital signature along with that of the superintendent had been misused to provide numbers to unauthorised buildings.

The Secretary had asked the assistant engineer to inspect a building that was provided a number despite being included in the data bank as on wetland / paddyfield. The subsequent inquiry revealed that details of the building were included in the assessment register, and the building tax was paid despite the structure not having a permit from the engineering section or a possession certificate.

The Secretary complained that her digital signature in the Sanchaya software was used to authorise the building. The Secretary, in the complaint, had pointed out that several unauthorised entries had appeared in the assessment register of late, and that some had been deleted using a whitener or marker pen.

The online tax payment system has not been activated in Ramanattukara so far owing to delay in converting data as part of the transformation of the panchayat into a municipality. There is also an injunction order from the Kerala High Court in connection with tax revision. However, the municipality is making efforts to clear the data entry process by the time the injunction is removed, and the discrepancies are being carried behind the veil of this process, the complaint said.

However, the police have not registered a case, as there are no hints regarding involvement of middlemen or bribery in the complaint, as in the Kozhikode Corporation. However, further details are being collected from the Secretary.

Employees of the Kozhikode Corporation had pointed out that Sanchaya was a weak software, and that there were no barriers to access information using the software once logged in. “All officials need not have access to all data, but only what they require to do their job. But Sanchaya provides everyone access to any data related to property tax and also gives them a free pass to make alterations,” said Anil Kumar T., district president, Kerala Municipal and Corporation Staff Union.

Regional Joint Director (Urban Affairs) D. Saju has conducted an inquiry into the scam at the Kozhikode Corporation, and a report has been submitted to Minister for Local Self Governments M.V. Govindan, based on which further action will be taken.

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Printable version | Aug 14, 2022 11:11:48 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kozhikode/sanchaya-misuse-rocks-ramanattukara-too/article65573119.ece