Hyderabad: The GHMC has once again decided to implement its digital house numbering project in order to bring transparency.
After keeping the project in cold storage for three years, officials h-ve now decided to invite fresh tenders and complete it within six months.
Officials claimed that the GHMC project will not only bring transparency in property tax collection but will also enhance the accountability of bill collectors.
The digital house numbers will be integrated with the database of all city departments for accuracy.
The project, when proposed three years ago, did not materialise as a dispute between bidders led to a court case. When the GHMC invited tenders a second time, it did not have any takers.
The corporation once again floated tenders in 2017 and took up a pilot project in Moosapet under the Unique Smart Addressing Solution for Urban Dwellings.
In 2018, it decided to link the Aadhaar card with digital house numbers and named the project Aadhaar-Digital Door Numbering project. A geo-tagging based seven digit code was finalised. This project was also shelved.
The GHMC has made several unsuccessful attempts to increase its property tax collection. In 2016, it embarked on a “tsunami survey” for the re-verification of 1 lakh non-residential properties paying less than Rs 1,200 in property tax. It did not produce significant results as bill collectors were found to be working with property owners to indulge in irregularities. Besides, lack of co-ordination from other line departments and political interference forced the GHMC to put the project in cold storage. Officials said that the project is a one-stop solution where electricity and water bills can be collected accurately. The properties would be integrated with the revenue department.
This apart, property tax collection will be increased by at least Rs 600 crore during the first financial year after execution. Bogus voters will also be identified and deleted.
A senior GHMC official said the corporation now hopes to successfully revive the project. He said that it had identified that property taxes were being paid by only 14 lakh out of the estimated 20 lakh households in the city due to inaccurate house-numbering.
He said that the corporation hopes to earn an additional Rs 600 crore this financial year through the implementation of the digital house-numbering system, from about 6 lakh residential and non-residential properties that are evading property taxes.
The official said that the process involves taking high-resolution satellite images, processing them to identify individual properties followed by field verification by teams comprising GIS personnel and tax inspectors.