Computerisation of MCC services under review

Special Correspondent

At present, these services are centralised

Only a few services have been computerised in the corporationInterfacing computerised and manual operations proving difficult Software being used now needs to be upgraded or changedNo paucity of funds to implement project, says Mayor Ashraf

MANGALORE: The much-awaited computerisation of services offered by the Mangalore City Corporation (MCC) is under review. The Rs. 5-crore project, which should have commenced this March, will now take more time. And if the corporation has its way, it will be taken up in two or three phases.

The proposal is already two years old and it came up for approval in September 2005 when the Finance Committee headed by Naveen D'Souza gave its assent to the project. But the hurdles to the project appear to be stemming out of procedures and uniformity of solutions. According to information given to the corporation council, the project will be a long-drawn one as it involves evolving uniform operations.

At present, computerised services are highly centralised and are used to issue water bills, birth and death certificates, trade licences, generating house tax challans and salary bills. This system is creating bottlenecks as some heads are non-computerised while the rest have been computerised. The inter-facing of partly computerised and partly manual operations is difficult and adds to the work of the staff. This has been conveyed by Mr. D'Souza to Mayor K. Ashraf and corporation Commissioner Chandappa.

A preliminary study by the Infrastructure Development Foundation, a consultant of the MCC, has pointed out a number of correlative aspects, including the hardware-software combination, which have to be supported by logistics and training. Mr. Ashraf, who is keen on implementing total IT solutions in the corporation by the end of this financial year, has asked the consultants to submit the final report. In fact, he has also cleared Rs. 2 crores for the project for this year, which has to be spent before March 2006. He has informed the council that money is not a problem for the project as many of the Government programmes such as "Nirmala Nagara Yojana" will have to be carried out by the corporation.

The report of the consultants states that the corporation might have to go in for either upgrading of the software used by a few departments or go in for new software.

In either case, the hardware will have to be compatible with the new or upgraded software. In both cases, the existing servers will have to be upgraded, Mr. D'Souza says.

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