The slow process of feeding data in the computer network after verification of the houses through geographical information system (GIS) has made mockery of tall claims of Varanasi Nagar Nigam that had promised to create such facility to get rid of paper work at the end of this month.
Even as the last date for paying property taxes (including house taxes without surcharge) ended on Monday, nearly 50 per cent of the houses (out of total of 1,61,000 houses under VNN) are forced to pay their taxes manually, as their required data are still to be entered in the computer network created in the zonal offices of the city.
According to Rameshwar Dayal, revenue officer in VNN, the verification of the houses that included physical as well GIS verification consumed much time, leaving less time to feed data for the purpose. As the number of houses increased from 1,40,000 to over 1.6 lakh after verification, the documentation of the these houses was done on priority basis consuming much time, he added.
It may be mentioned that VNN was one of the first municipal corporations in the state to witness launching of GIS for verification of houses in June last year. The process had also initiated computerisation of VNN creating network of computers in the five zonal offices in the city.
Similarly, the provision of self assessment for paying house taxes from April 2004, based on prevalent annual rental value has also ensured increasing paper work in different zonal offices that have remained busy in assessing the property taxes each year.
Though, a number of cash collection and bill counters have opened in the zonal offices to ease the pressure, a number of houses going for manual billing has created chaos at these centres.
The process may take another six months before the data are fed into the computer leading to computerised billing for property taxes in the city, said the revenue officer adding that the next year could witness full fledged computerised billing in the city.
As per VNN records, over Rs 10 crore are paid annually towards payment of house taxes in the city.