Aakanksha N Bhardwaj
Jalandhar, August 10
Aiming to increase property tax collection, the government has been pushing for unique identification for all properties in the state. But in the city, the unique identification (UID) number plate project that was started in 2016 has lost its track. Smart City officials are unaware of the project; they do not know what will happen next.
At present nine inspectors along with their assistants are visiting various properties in the city, identifying defaulters, and sending notices to them. The property tax department instead needs 20 inspectors and their assistants to do the work properly. MC sources said at present it was just a hit and trial method. “The inspectors go to various places and check everything manually. If the project gets implemented, the need for the manpower will be reduced, too, as everything will be online and on record,” the sources said.
As per the information received from the MC, a survey of the entire city was done in 2016 in which over nearly 3 lakh properties were identified. It is reported that over Rs 1 crore was given to a private company for carrying out the survey.
Last year, Punjab Municipal Infrastructure Development Company started doing a survey ‘again’ to verify if there is any update on the survey work done in 2016. Under the survey, the verification of more than one lakh properties has been done so far.
It is being said once the survey was completed and nearly three lakh properties will be checked again, then unique ID number plates will be given to every household and property and these number plates with a particular QR code will be installed outside every property. The owner will be able to pay property tax by clicking at that QR code. The information will then be saved with the Municipal Corporation, which will help officials recover property tax without any problem or any proper information.
A few months ago, then MC Commissioner Deepshikha Sharma had said the vendor had been selected and the work of fixing the number plate would start soon. She had added that the authorities were trying to start the survey again, which had been pending for long. Since then, it seems authorities have totally forgotten about what was to be done on the project.
In the lurch since 2016
3L properties identified in the city in a 2016 survey
Rs 1 crore given to company for carrying out the process
1L properties re-verified in fresh survey in 2021
Once all properties are verified, unique ID number plates will be issued to each one with a particular QR code
By scanning the QR code, owner will be able to pay property tax online, while the MC, too, will have all computerised details
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