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IMC forms GIS cell

HAVEN?T BEEN paying property taxes? You could soon be under the scanner, literally. Under pressure from funding patrons to key in IT-enabled technologies, the Indore Municipal Corporation (IMC) has dusted up a two-year-old proposal to implement Geographical Information System (GIS) in urban governance.

india Updated: May 30, 2006 00:23 IST

HAVEN’T BEEN paying property taxes? You could soon be under the scanner, literally. Under pressure from funding patrons to key in IT-enabled technologies, the Indore Municipal Corporation (IMC) has dusted up a two-year-old proposal to implement Geographical Information System (GIS) in urban governance.

Both the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) and the Asian Development Bank make it mandatory for beneficiary cities to be equipped with GIS.

Unwilling to risk losing a slice of the Mission’s Rs 50,000 crore urban renewal corpus the IMC administration has constituted a 10-member GIS cell headed by Additional Municipal Commissioner Kumar Purshottam to usher in the technology.
The cell will be housed in the offices of the IMC Information and Technology department.

“GIS will be used for identifying structures with under or un-assessed property taxes, cracking down on illegal water connections as well as streamlining issuances of licensing and building permissions”, declared Kumar.

“As the System will have a planning area of 0.5 x 0.5 m it will be possible for us even to identify if a particular streetlight isn’t functioning.

This ability to keep 24x7 tabs on every part of the City will lead to improved municipal governance, he added. The Corporation, in fact, is taking no chances. Executive Engineer Vinod Nagar, who has been appointed nodal officer for the cell, was recently despatched by the IMC administration to the Indian Institute of Remote Sensing (National Remote Sensing Agency)-the country’s apex Institute for remote sensing-to receive training in the application of remote sensing and GIS techniques.

“We were the first civic body in the country to propose GIS and had even invited tenders for the project 2 years ago. However, the bids were forwarded to the State government as the tenders were worth more than Rs 1 crore”, he added.

The Additional Municipal Commissioner, however, refused to comment on whether the Corporation would go by the past GIS tenders or issue fresh ones.

“That is for the Mayor-in-Council to decide. The matter will be taken up at the next meeting”, said the SAS official. ADB Project Implementation Unit Manager Prabhash Sankhla, City Engineer (Civil and Planning) HK Jain, City Engineer (Building Permission) Harbhajan Singh, City Engineer (Waterworks and Drainage) GP Pathak, City Engineer (Electrical and Engineering) Narendra Tomar are among those appointed to the GIS cell.

What is GIS
Geographic Information System is a system of computer hardware, software and data for collecting, storing, analysing and disseminating information about areas of the earth. For land transportation purposes, GIS is defined as a highway network (spatial data which graphically represents the geometry of the highways, ie, an electronic map) and its geographically referenced component attributes