Poor response to Delhi civic body geotagging drive after glitches in app | Latest News Delhi - Hindustan Times
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Poor response to Delhi civic body geotagging drive after glitches in app

Jan 29, 2024 05:36 AM IST

Technical glitches have prevented many property tax payers in Delhi from geotagging their properties by the Municipal Corporation of Delhi's January 31 deadline. Only 95,000 out of the target of 1.5 million properties have been geotagged so far. Property owners have complained about glitches in the MCD's mobile app, especially for iOS users, and have called for the deadline to be extended. The MCD has acknowledged the issues and is working to resolve them. The United RWAs Joint Action has also written to the tax department to address the glitch. No decision has been made yet on extending the deadline.

Three days before the Municipal Corporation of Delhi’s January 31 deadline for commercial and residential properties in the Capital to be geotagged by their owners, a large number of property tax payers on Sunday said that technical glitches have prevented them from submitting their details with the civic body.

New Delhi, India - October 23, 2019: A view of the unauthorised colonies, at Ganesh Nagar, in New Delhi, India, on Wednesday, October 23, 2019. Less than three months ahead of assembly elections in Delhi, the union cabinet on Wednesday gave its approval for the regularization of unauthorized colonies. (Photo by Biplov Bhuyan/ Hindustan Times) (Biplov Bhuyan/HT PHOTO)
New Delhi, India - October 23, 2019: A view of the unauthorised colonies, at Ganesh Nagar, in New Delhi, India, on Wednesday, October 23, 2019. Less than three months ahead of assembly elections in Delhi, the union cabinet on Wednesday gave its approval for the regularization of unauthorized colonies. (Photo by Biplov Bhuyan/ Hindustan Times) (Biplov Bhuyan/HT PHOTO)

Geotagging properties means digitally mapping a property with the geographic information system (GIS). This means that a property can be identified on a map with its unique and permanent latitude and longitude coordinates. To do this, property owners must download MCD’s mobile app, and while present at their property, select the “current location” and link it with any unique property identification code (UPIC).

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With the deadline just days away, only 95,000 property owners have got their properties geotagged, MCD officials say, far short of the target of 1.5 million properties by the end of January. However, property tax payers have complained that MCD’s app — especially the iOS one — has several glitches that leaves them unable to upload their details online, and have demanded that the civic body extend the deadline.

An MCD official acknowledged that some hiccups on the app have been noticed. “The IT department of MCD is working to resolve it,” he said.

Sanjiv Mehra, president of the Nizamuddin East RWA, who also heads the Khan Market Traders Association, said that MCD has not planned its geotagging drive properly. “We are being told that the app won’t work in older iPhone models at all. They should have configured their app before mandating the deadline,” he said.

Mehra added that residents who are abroad, or those who are elderly are also facing trouble. “It can’t be done remotely. MCD should start a door-to-door drive and the deadline must be extended,” he said.

Prateek Moitra, a tax payer from CR Park in CR Park, said that it is very important for MCD to first correct the known issue with iOS version of the app. “A workaround to this issue for iPhone users is to use an android device phone and login through that using same registered mobile number, but MCD should correct this issue,” he said.

The United RWAs Joint Action (Urja) — a collective body of resident welfare associations — has also written to the tax department to rectify the glitch. Atul Goyal, who heads Urja, said, “The process also requires you to upload three photographs from different sides of the property, which is not possible in flats.”

In a letter to MCD dated January 25, Urja sought a solution for people who are not personally able to geotag their properties. “Besides the time granted 31st January 2024 as deadline to Geotag properties by individuals is highly impractical for the variety of citizens in Delhi as mentioned above should be extended up to 31st March 2024,” the letter states.

Delhi is estimated to have more than three million buildings but only 1.3 million are registered with corporation. An MCD official said that currently there are around 1.2 million properties paying property tax out of which around 300,000 would fall under the commercial category. The corporation, in its annual building safety survey, said that there are 2,978,469 properties in the city. Only a fraction have been covered in the ongoing drive.

An MCD spokesperson said that no decision has been taken on extension of deadline yet. “However, since the Corporation always works in the interest of its citizens, hence, whatever decision is in the best interest of Delhi citizens, the same will be taken,” he added.

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